Alt Title

A critical component for a "forgotten government" : a case study of budgeting for county jail facilities

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rubin, Irene

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Illinois--Appropriations and expenditures; Prisons--Illinois--Finance


Today jail budgeters are frequently faced with double-digit increases in prisoner population and a similar increase in overall operational costs while county revenues are failing to keep pace with the rising price tag for incarceration. This project seeks to explore how jail budgeters develop and implement jail budgets during times of disproportionate changes in demands and available funding streams. Focusing on five Illinois Counties experiencing different degrees of fiscal stress, and utilizing a qualitative case study approach, this study seeks to respond to three broad questions: (1) How do county jail budgeters develop and implement an annual budget, particularly during times of disproportionate changes in demands and available funding streams? (2) How well do existing decision models, such as Incrementalism, Garbage Can, or Real Time Budgeting fit the actual practices currently in use by jail budget staff in explaining the budgeting decision process and structure? (3) How might existing decision models be combined or altered to better describe and predict county jail budgeting under conditions of fiscal constraint? This study is not intended to test the validity of the three decision models, but rather sets out to add to the sparse literature regarding county and jail budgeting processes and sets the stage for future research in this important and often neglected governmental unit.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [305]-317).


viii, 348 pages




Northern Illinois University

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