Evidence-Based Strategies to Reduce Shoplifting Violations
Posted on: June 14, 2021 Time to read: 2 minutes
Every year, shoplifting results in about $50 billion in retail crime, with more than 550,000 incidents happening each day throughout the U.S...1 Often, individuals with shoplifting violations appear in court over and over again for the same violations. One of our goals at 3rd Millennium Classrooms is to reduce recidivism rates, which is why we developed STOPLifting.
What is STOPLifting?
STOPLifting is a seven-part, online intervention course designed for individuals charged with a shoplifting violation. Some of the topics covered include victim impact, legal repercussions, and behavior-change strategies. The material isn’t designed to be punitive, but rather to provide individuals with knowledge and skills to make better decisions to avoid repeat violations. The course, which takes about three to four hours to complete, helps offenders become aware of their reasons for shoplifting and of the negative consequences they experience as a result, which is why hundreds of courts across the country use STOPLifting. It’s tailored to every type of shoplifter: addictive compulsive, professional, addict, impoverished, thrill-seeker, absent-minded, and kleptomaniac.
Like shoplifters, not all intervention courses are the same. We use the most up-to-date, evidence-based strategies in all of our courses. STOPLifting incorporates interactive content that has evidence-based practices, such as:
Risk perception, which measures how much of a risk an individual believes a behavior (e.g. shoplifting) has. The course challenges individuals who believe a behavior is low-risk to think about the high-risk consequences, both legal and person. This includes discussing how shoplifting can impact an individual’s future and how shoplifting affects the businesses, business owners, and employees they steal from.
Through individual feedback, we aim to provide a personalized experience for each participant. This includes equipping them with tools and strategies to avoid repeat offenses, by including additional evidence-based practices, including:
Behavior and skills trainingare used to promote positive changes. Some of the strategies used in our STOPLifting course includes self-identifying shoplifting habits and patterns, reflecting on illegal and prescription drug use that may influence shoplifting impulses, and identifying the personal reasons why the individual started shoplifting in the first place. After all, it’s likely not the person’s first offense considering chronic offenders say they’re arrested only once out of every 49 times they steal.1
Challenging expectations allows individuals to compare their expected outcome with the reality of what they experience. Clarifying expectations, identifying negative consequences from shoplifting, and highlighting the discrepancy between expectations and outcomes is key in reducing a person’s motivation to shoplift in the future.
In STOPLifting, we debunk common shoplifter misconceptions that many offenders believe are true, including shoplifting not being a serious crime and that it only impacts themselves. By altering perspective and knowledge, the goal is to quit shoplifting and improve individuals’ personal lives.