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Stand Up to Shoplifting, Stop Shrinkage
By Lohra Miller, CEO of Turning Point Justice

Loss prevention programs cost retailers billions of dollars every year, reducing already thin margins for businesses that are essential to America’s economy. Obviously, shoplifters need to be caught in order to face consequences for their actions, but due to the overwhelming amount of shoplifting happening in our communities, and limited resources to fight the problem, many offenders unfortunately face no consequences at all for their actions.
 
Stopping shrinkage is essential to mitigating harm to retailers, and Turning Point Justice is focused on helping the industry address the problem while serving their communities. We aim to align the interests of retailers, law enforcement and justice systems through restorative programs that reduce the need for police visits to stores, helping to ensure that communities’ resources are conserved for fighting the most serious crimes.
 
Presidential Attention for Petty Theft
Recently, even the President of Columbia noted that “prosecutors’ time and effort should not be wasted on misdemeanors” when he commented on a man being sentenced to five months in the country’s prison for hardened criminals after being caught stealing a chocolate bar.
 
In addition to the costliness of this approach, it’s likely that the offender will encounter many other negative influences while serving time. Since the financial impact and stigma tend to make it difficult to participate in life as a regular citizen after being released from prison, this approach compounds the long-term damages to the community.
 
Need for Appropriate, Consistent Consequences
Unfortunately, shoplifting has become so ubiquitous in America today that there is no way every petty retail thief could be processed through our criminal justice system, even if we wanted to take that approach. And without consequences, first time offenders will think it’s okay to steal again.
 
Consistent, appropriate consequences will help stop petty shoplifters the first time they offend, which is why we’re working with our retail, law enforcement and justice system partners to implement new solutions to stop shoplifting. Offenders need to make things right through paying restitution, and to learn why theft hurts their communities through proven education programs. We believe that these approaches can help our communities stand up to shoplifting to protect their local economies.

 
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