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Budget analysts provide financial analysis to legislators, evaluate a program’s health, assess policy, and draft budget-related legislation.

STEP 1: Imagine you are a budget analyst for a state or local (municipal or county) criminal justice or security agency. Review the most recent budget for that agency. Provide an analysis for your agency director of revenue sources used to support agency operations and financial tools that will be helpful to the agency.

STEP 2: Search the state, county, or municipality website and find the most recent budget. Your chosen agency will be one of those listed in the respective budget. For example, if the chosen agency is the Cook County Sheriff in Illinois, search online for “Cook County Sheriff’s budget” or “Cook County budget.” Then search for “Cook County Sheriff” in the master budget.

Not all local governments post their budgets online. If you cannot find the budget for your chosen criminal justice or security agency, ask your instructor for assistance or select your state budget.

STEP 3: Identify and gather information to briefly describe your chosen criminal justice or security agency.

STEP 4: Write a 525- to 700-word analysis in which you:

-Briefly identify and describe the responsibilities of the agency that you have chosen.
-Identify and describe the fund sources or revenues (e.g., general fund revenue from shared sales taxes and property taxes).
-Provide a table of the revenue amounts used in the last budget and describe any limitations of those revenue sources (e.g., drug prevention grant funds can only be spent on programs that reduce drug use).
-Describe at least one strength and one weakness of each revenue source (e.g., a strength of general fund revenue is that it is a reliable source, and a weakness is that if there is a recession, less general fund revenue will be collected).
-Identify any financial tools that may be helpful to the agency and discuss how they would be effective.
STEP 5: Cite at least 2 outside references to support your assignment.


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