Criminal Justice

Fewer than 1% of arrestees in Chicago see a lawyer while in police custody

  • Print


Chicago police generally require arrestees to wait until after they are processed, interrogated and charged before they are allowed access to a phone, according to a task force report.

The result, CNN reports, is that fewer than 1 percent of arrestees in Chicago see a lawyer while in police custody. CNN obtained the statistics, which covered a three-year period, in a freedom of information request.

The task force report, released last month, recommended that arrestees be allowed to call a lawyer within an hour of arrest. Some advocates say the police department should go further with a promise that every arrestee is provided with a lawyer while in custody.

The Chicago Police Department told CNN in a statement that most arrestees are released in a matter of hours, without questioning, and most don’t request a lawyer because they don’t want to prolong their detention. The department also said all arrestees are read their Miranda rights.

A spokesperson for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told CNN that the mayor “supports the police department’s welcoming of reforms that would build on efforts to protect the rights of arrestees and ensure they have access to legal counsel.”

See also: “How well do people actually know their Miranda rights? (podcast)”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.