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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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Defending Your Rights

Civil Rights


The Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau protects the civil rights of all Illinois residents. The Bureau enforces civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination, works to strengthen the civil rights laws, and participates in community outreach programs. The Bureau also investigates complaints of patterns and practices of discrimination in housing, public accommodations, employment, and financial matters.

The Attorney General encourages individuals to contact the office to report hate crimes and instances of discrimination or harassment by submitting a complaint using the links below. If you have questions, you may email the Civil Rights Bureau staff at civilrights@ilag.gov or call the Civil Rights Hotline at 1-877-581-3692. Please be advised that the Office of the Attorney General is taking measures to address both our obligation to serve the public and the State of Illinois and our concern for the well-being of our employees and the general public health in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our offices across the state are open, but operating with reduced staff. This may mean that responses to your complaints, email, and telephone calls may be delayed. The office appreciates your patience during this time.


Police Reform

A federal court judge has approved a consent decree to reform the Chicago Police Department. The consent decree is the result of a lawsuit brought by the Attorney General’s Office against the City of Chicago following the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation that found the Chicago Police Department engaged in a pattern of civil rights violations. The consent decree requires reforms that provide the guidance and support police officers need to practice safe and constitutional policing and build trust between community residents and police.

More information can be found at www.chicagopoliceconsentdecree.org


Civil Rights Complaint Form

If you have a civil rights-related complaint, please complete and submit one of the forms below.

PLEASE READ BEFORE DOWNLOADING AND FILLING OUT THIS FORM:
The following complaint form works best when opening it through Internet Explorer. If you are browsing with Firefox, Chrome or Safari web browsers, follow these instructions to open the complaint form.


School Discipline Guidance

The Attorney General’s Office and the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) jointly issued guidance to public K-12 school districts in Illinois regarding legal standards and enforcement of civil rights laws related to school discipline. The guidance is a resource to schools regarding their obligations under state and federal civil rights laws to administer student discipline policies without discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other protected characteristics.

The Attorney General’s Office is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Illinois residents, including students’ rights to full and equal access to school services and facilities. The Attorney General’s Office encourages all schools to consider this guidance as they undertake their annual review of their discipline policies and the implementation of those policies.

School Discipline Guidance PDF Document

Hate Crimes Guidance

The Attorney General’s Office issued guidance to state, county and local law enforcement agencies as well as advocacy organizations about a new, stronger hate crimes law in Illinois that will better protect Illinois residents from hate crimes.

The Hate Crimes Guidance is a resource for Illinois law enforcement agencies as well as advocacy organizations about the specific changes to the state’s hate crimes law. The new law expands the list of crimes that can be prosecuted as hate crimes in an effort to address the increasing use of technology to attack victims. Specifically, the new law adds the crimes of stalking, cyberstalking, transmission of obscene messages, and certain acts of intimidation to the list of crimes that can be charged and prosecuted as hate crimes. The law also ensures that victims of hate crimes have the ability to file a civil lawsuit in response to any hate crime and permits a judge to impose significant civil penalties on the perpetrator. It further permits the Attorney General to bring civil hate crime claims after consulting with local prosecutors and seek injunctions and civil penalties against perpetrators.

Hate Crimes Guidance PDF Document

Hate Crimes Complaint Form (PDF Chinese Traditional) (PDF Chinese Simplified) PDF Document

Hate Crimes Fact Sheet and Resources

Hate Crimes Fact Sheet (En español) (Chinese Traditional) (Polish)
(Chinese Simplified) (Arabic) (Hindi) (Japanese)
(Korean) (Tagalog) (Urdu) (Vietnamese) PDF Document


Law Enforcement Guidance & Reporting on Compliance with the Illinois TRUST Act and VOICES Act

The Way Forward Act, which became law in Illinois in August 2021, amended two existing state laws to add additional requirements and protections for immigrant communities: the Illinois TRUST Act and the Voices of Immigration Communities Empowering Survivors (“VOICES”) Act. The TRUST Act generally prohibits local law enforcement in Illinois from participating in immigration enforcement. The VOICES Act provides procedural protections for immigrants victimized by violent crime or human trafficking who have assisted law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting certain types of crimes.

The Attorney General’s office has issued updated guidance to law enforcement agencies to provide an overview of Illinois laws that govern law enforcement interactions with immigrant communities, including the TRUST Act and the VOICES Act. The guidance clarifies the restrictions on participation in immigration enforcement by state and local law enforcement in Illinois, and reminds law enforcement of certain legal obligations to assist foreign nationals and immigrant victims of crimes.

Under the amended laws, state, county and local law enforcement agencies in Illinois must also submit annual reports to the Attorney General’s Office regarding their compliance with the TRUST Act and the VOICES Act.

Law enforcement agencies must collect required information on a calendar year basis and submit it annually by March 1 of each year for information covering the preceding calendar year. For example, information regarding calendar year 2022 (January 1 through December 31) must be reported by March 1, 2023.

Law enforcement agencies should use the links below to download the updated guidance, instructions on reporting to the Attorney General’s office, and the template spreadsheet for submitting reports.

Guidance to Law Enforcement: Illinois Laws Governing Law Enforcement Interactions with Immigrant Communities PDF Document

Instructions for Law Enforcement Agencies on Reporting PDF Document

Template Spreadsheet for Law Enforcement Agencies to Report to the Attorney General’s Office

Questions regarding the annual reporting requirements may be directed to LEA.Reports@ilag.gov by using the subject line: “Question About Reporting.”.


Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act

In 2015, the Attorney General’s Office led the effort to pass the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act. Under this law, public and private colleges and universities in Illinois must meet several requirements aimed at raising awareness about and addressing campus sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

These requirements include:

  1. Developing a comprehensive policy, including a procedure to resolve complaints, a definition of consent, and an amnesty provision;
  2. Providing students with a confidential advisor;
  3. Providing survivors a short and clear written explanation of their rights;
  4. Participating in a task force to evaluate policies, practices and procedures regarding sexual assault on campus;
  5. Offering annual training to students and campus employees; and
  6. Reporting information and data annually to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

All Illinois colleges and universities are required to submit their annual report by November 1 of each year. The Attorney General’s Office is required to post on its website a list of all colleges and universities that fail to comply with reporting requirements defined by the law.

The compliance lists for each reporting year indicate which Illinois higher education institutions have provided a full report, those that have provided incomplete reports and those that have failed to submit a report entirely. These lists only address compliance with the Act’s requirement that each school submit an annual report. The list should not be construed as providing an opinion or analysis about the contents of a school’s report or a school’s degree of compliance with the Act as a whole.

2021 School Report Compliance as of July, 2022. PDF document

2020 School Report Compliance PDF document

2019 School Report Compliance PDF document

2018 School Report CompliancePDF document

2017 School Report Compliance PDF document

Use the links below to download additional resource materials related to the law, including FAQs, a reporting form template and a fact sheet.

Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Ed Act PDF document

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act Brochure PDF document

Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act Annual Report Template PDF document

Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act (FAQ) Frequently Asked Questions PDF document

For questions about the law or the reports, please contact Attorney General Raoul’s Civil Rights Hotline at 1-877-581-3692.


Civil Rights Links and Documents:

Civil Rights Bureau Brochure PDF document

Civil Rights Bureau Brochure (Español) PDF document

Civil Rights Fact Sheet PDF document

Civil Rights Fact Sheet (Español) PDF document

Civil Rights Fact Sheet (Polish) PDF document

Know Your Rights PDF document (mobile version) (printable pocket-sized guide)
(Arabic)
  (Chinese)  (en Español)  (Hindi)  (Polish)  (Serbian)  (Urdu)

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

HUD's Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity Office

Fair Housing Laws & Presidential Executive Orders

Illinois Human Rights Act

Civil Rights Bureau Contact Information

Civil Rights Bureau
Office of the Attorney General
James R. Thompson Center, 11th floor
100 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
1-877-581-3692

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