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Target and Justice Innovators Fight Shoplifting, Strengthen Community
By Lohra Miller, Turning Point Justice CEO

 
Restorative justice solutions may seem like a new approach to fighting petty shoplifting, but the retail industry has been working with law enforcement and justice systems for years to determine how to address retail theft more effectively.
 
Target, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and the Center for Court Innovation published a shoplifting report and planning guide in 2011 that articulates how the interests of each group aligns with strengthening our communities and efficiently using public resources, such as policing and our courts. 
 
Brad Brekke, vice president of assets and protection at Target, noted in the report that shoplifting accounts for almost 20 percent of all thefts in the United States, consuming countless public dollars in police, prosecution, and court costs.
 
Mr. Brekke noted that while the annual cost to retailers is in the billions, the traditional arrest and prosecution process is very costly for retailers’ public sector partners as well, which ultimately costs taxpayers. “At a time when public and private resources are decreasing, we need to explore different approaches [to shoplifting],” he said.
 
Aligning Interests to Fix the Problem

Turning Point Justice believes that fighting retail theft requires a coordinated and collaborative response that aligns interests across retailers, law enforcement, and the justice system. The Court Alternative Program, or CAP, is a collaborative solution to retail theft that is powered by Turning Point Justice technology and the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) education programs.
 
The Court Alternative Program, or CAP, improves the response to retail theft, ensures offender accountability, and reduces costs for retailers and criminal justice stakeholders alike. CAP ensures higher, more consistent restitution, saves time, and strengthens community with NASP offender education solutions approved nationwide.
 
Offender Accountability is Essential

Ultimately, to shop shoplifting, offenders must be held accountable the first time they are caught. Sadly, shoplifting has become such a common problem that it’s just not cost effective, let alone possible, for local police to respond to every incident.  TPJ was founded to help retailers and justice systems find efficient solutions to petty shoplifting that work for their communities, and we are proud to be working to grow integrity and honesty across America. 
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