Illinois has a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which allows anyone to request access to public records, including criminal history records, for background check purposes. However, certain records may be exempted from disclosure by law.
For criminal history records, the Illinois State Police (ISP) maintains a central repository of criminal history information, which is accessible through the Bureau of Identification. Individuals and organizations can request criminal history records through the ISP website or by submitting a request through the mail. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) also maintains a Sex Offender Registry, which provides information on registered sex offenders in the state.
Employers in Illinois are also required to comply with the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or unfavorable military discharge status. Employers may conduct background checks, but they must do so in compliance with federal and state laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Overall, individuals and organizations in Illinois have the right to access public records for background check purposes, but they must comply with state and federal laws regarding the use and dissemination of that information.