John Maki

John Maki is the Executive Director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), which houses the state’s public safety research and grant-making units. Overseeing Illinois’ U.S. Department of Justice block grants, John’s work at ICJIA touches almost all aspects of the Illinois’ public safety system, from policing to victim services. In his time as ICJIA’s Executive Director, he has helped spearhead a transformation in its grant making, transitioning the agency’s funding from a legacy-based model to a research-informed competitive process. In ICJIA’s statutory role of advising and making recommendations to improve Illinois’ public safety system, John has helped shape broad changes to sentencing, state and local criminal justice practice and policy, and victim services. Before he was appointed ICJIA’s Executive Director, John ran the John Howard Association of Illinois, the state’s only non-partisan prison watchdog. During his five-year tenure, he led a significant rebuilding effort, more than doubling JHA’s total revenue and driving legislative and policy reform. When he left to become ICJIA’s Executive Director, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation gave the John Howard Association one of its 2015 Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, an honor that recognizes exceptional nonprofit organizations that are engaged in the Foundation’s core fields of work. John has also worked in wrongful conviction reform, homeless prevention, and as a teacher at the high school and college level. Before John began working in advocacy and policy, he was in the PhD program in English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago, where he left with a Masters before completing his doctorate. John is a graduate of Whittier College, where he graduated with a double-major in Philosophy and English and also has a Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

John Maki is the Authority Executive Director.

(312) 793-8550  

Academic Background

  • Juris doctorate, Loyola University Chicago College of Law
  • Master of Arts, English, University of Chicago
  • Bachelor of Arts, English and philosophy, Whittier College