About the Crime Accountability Partnership
The Crime Accountability Partnership (CA Partnership) is an innovative and promising new initiative to address petty shoplifting and is the result of collaboration between the non-profit National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) and Turning Point Justice (TPJ) – a Cloud-Justice technology company. The CA Partnership’s goal is to provide a comprehensive, sustainable and effective program to retailers and criminal justice agencies to reduce the time and costs associated with low-level retail theft offenses, hold offenders accountable and prevent repeat offenses.
Retailers, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies become part of the partnership by agreeing to implement the Crime Accountability Partnership (CA Partnership) Program for offenders in their communities.
About the Crime Accountability Partnership (CA Partnership) Program
The Crime Accountability Partnership Program is a community supported program the provides eligible shoplifting offenders with a one-time change to take responsibility for their actions and to avoid entry into the criminal justice system. The program reduces the expenditure of retailer and criminal justice resources, provides restitution to the retail victim and education to the offender to help build their competency.
As part of the program, retailers are trained to utilize the TPJ Cloud Justice incident processing platform which allows them to produce a single, complete, accurate, shareable and prosecutable report. This report is designed to:
- Reduce law enforcement calls and improve retailer community relations
- Minimize detention time and standardize reporting
- Reduce costs associated with preparing multiple reports for various organizations responsible for handling retail theft incidents
- Reduce retailer liability through consistent case processing and improved incident reports
The CA Partnership Program education, offender management and restitution collections are provided by NASP who employs the same offense-specific programs and proprietary techniques used to provide these services to court systems across the country. NASP’s case managers:
- Maximize offender compliance and minimize Failure to Register cases filed for prosecution.
- Ensure education program success for participants and provide them with access to continued support to reduce repeat offenses.
- Manage the Indigence Fund to ensure equal access for all offenders offered the program.
What is the Crime Accountability (C.A.) Partnership Program?
Borrowing from the best practices of Restorative Justice, the C.A. Partnership Program is a one-time educational alternative for petty shoplifting offenders who, upon apprehension, wish to take responsibility for their actions, repair the harm done to the retailer and community, and participate in offense-specific education proven to build their competency and empower them to make better decisions, thus preventing repeat offenses.
How does the C.A.Partnership Program serve law enforcement?
To date, the Program has reduced the need for police response on low-level shoplifting cases by 40-60% on average – thus freeing up valuable police resources for more serious crimes and public safety issues. In addition, to encourage fully transparent partnerships, the Program provides law enforcement partners with access to as much information as they wish on cases occurring within their jurisdiction – including intelligence information on all incidents. The Program’s technology also screens for and tracks repeat offenders, ORC/professionals, and other known offenders across retailers and jurisdictions.
How does the C.A.Partnership Program work?
The C.A. Partnership Program alternative is available to eligible low-level offenders at the time of an apprehension for shoplifting in a retail store. The result of collaboration between the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) and Turning Point Justice (TPJ) – a Cloud Justice Technology company – the Program is offered by partner retailers who recognize the need to reduce the often excessive burden that low-level shoplifting cases place on their criminal justice partners and reduce repeat offenses. Recognizing that people sometimes make mistakes and poor choices, partner retailers employ the C.A. Partnership Program to provide qualifying offenders with a choice to voluntarily take responsibility for their actions and take the steps necessary to learn from their mistake – thus resolving the incident without the need for an immediate law enforcement response.
How effective is the education provided?
The education programs, provided by the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) are the very programs used by court systems across the U.S. since 1989. With recidivism rates averaging less than 3% nationally, the NASP education programs provide offenders the best opportunity to carefully examine their actions and their impact on the community, learn to make better choices in the future, and ensure they will never shoplift again. NASP provides all program participants with ongoing support and tools to reinforce learning and ensure continued success.
How is the Program administered?
Loss Prevention agents at partner retailers are trained to utilize the TPJ Cloud Justice Technology to process cases, make the program offer, and produce comprehensive, shareable, police-quality reports; thus eliminating the need for patrol officers to re-write reports. Offenders are screened by the technology based on eligibility factors set jointly by the retailer and police.
For offenders who qualify and voluntarily opt into the program, NASP provides all student management and compliance services, and manages the C.A . Partnership Program Indigence Fund – ensuring access to the program’s benefits for all who wish to participate.
How is offender eligibility determined?
The Program is aimed at low-level, misdemeanor theft offenders, but specific offender eligibility criteria for each jurisdiction is set based on local and state law, the preferences of the partnering police and/or prosecutor, and the criteria set by partner retailers based on their own corporate policy. The technology then applies the parameters uniformly and consistently for all offenders; ensuring equal access for all and eliminating, to the degree possible, human bias or subjectivity.
Are juvenile offenders eligible?
The Program is especially valuable to youth, particularly at-risk youth and young adult offenders. The Partnership encourages retailers and jurisdictions to include juvenile offenders, as NASP’s Youth Educational Shoplifting Program (Y.E.S. Program) for juveniles has been proven to not only reduce shoplifting recidivism but to reduce juvenile crime in general.
Who is NOT eligible for the Program?
The following offenders are not eligible for the Program: offenders whose theft amount is outside the established criteria for the jurisdiction; offenders who are uncooperative, violent or combative in any way; persons known to be prior offenders or involved in professional retail theft or ORC activity; those who appear to be under the influence of drugs/alcohol or otherwise impaired; juveniles without the knowledge and consent of their parent or guardian.
What happens if an offender is not eligible or declines the offer?
If the system determines that an offender is ineligible or the individual chooses not to pursue the educational option, the case will be handled following the retailer’s existing guidelines and the established police procedures in each jurisdiction.
How does the Program enrollment process work?
Upon indicating their intent to enroll in the program, offenders are released with a 72-hour grace period to carefully consider the educational option and consult with family, legal counsel, or other personal advisers about the choice that is best for them before enrolling. During the 30-day enrollment period, Program case managers are available to assist participants with enrollment options, payment plans, time extensions, program and other support as they request.
What if an offender does not enroll thus opting out of the Program?
While the Program is retailer-led, collaboration with local law enforcement is highly valued. Offenders have 30-days to enroll or opt out of the Program. To ensure Program credibility and protect the offender’s right to refute the accusation, cases of non-enrollment are referred back to the retailer to be handled according to the established procedures in that jurisdiction.
How is the Program funded and sustained?
Consistent with the NASP’s program model for the court system, the Program is intentionally offender-paid and self-sustaining. Paying the cost of one’s own education is part of taking responsibility and repairing the harm done, and enhances the value placed on the education program. The Program fee, which covers the cost of the technology, the case reporting app, the education program, student management and ongoing support, is $350. In addition, the offender pays restitution to the retailer which is calculated based on the facts of their case alone (rather than a statutory amount as in the case of civil demand) and averages $50-$100.
What if someone cannot afford the Program?
The C.A. Partnership Program includes an Indigence Fund that ensures equal access to the program and its benefits for all persons. No one will be denied access to the Program based upon his/her ability to pay the program fee. The Indigence Fund is managed by the non-profit National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) and is supported by ongoing, voluntary contributions from participating retail partners.
What if a participant fails to pay the full fee? Are they subject to collections or prosecution?
The Program’s focus is participant success and compliance. All post-apprehension offender contact is handled by NASP, employing the same proprietary offender management techniques it uses on behalf of courts across the U.S. There are no collection-focused personnel or agencies involved and once an offender enrolls in the Program by making their first 1/3 payment, a civil resolution is in place and the retailer would not submit the case for criminal action.
Will the retailer collect restitution and still send a civil demand?
No. Partner retailers agree to waive their right to make a civil demand and accept the calculated restitution amount in lieu of any civil demand. There is no “double-dipping” with the C.A. Partnership Program.
How do you ensure the voluntary nature of the Program and protect the rights of the accused?
The C.A. Partnership Program is the only restorative justice based retailer program crafted to respect and protect the rights and priorities of all stakeholders: the retailers, law enforcement and prosecutors, the community, and the offenders. The Partnership design ensures that each stakeholder contributes effort and reaps benefits in equal measure – including the offender. NASP specializes in working with both adult and juvenile shoplifting offenders and their families. Protecting offender rights and ensuring program success is a NASP mission driven priority. The program structure is designed to protect offenders throughout the process.
• The program offer is presented in a video format and broken into sections to help ensure understanding of the offer and its requirements and includes remedies for the offender if they are feeling pressured to participate by a store agent.
• Offenders are only permitted to indicate their “intent to enroll” in the program at the time of apprehension. No final commitments to enroll or program payments are accepted during detention.
• Offenders are afforded a 72-hour cooling off period and provided with Enrollment Instructions detailing what is required of them and the exact acknowledgments they will be making if they choose to enroll in the Program; thus allowing them to carefully consider the options and consult with family, legal counsel, or other personal advisers about the choice that is best for them before enrolling.
• Any person who contacts a case manager to assert his or her innocence or allege any wrongdoing on the part of the retail agent is strongly advised to opt-out of the program and exercise their right to clear their name in a court of law.
Is the Program available in Spanish or other languages?
The Program offer, videos, and documentation as well as the NASP education programs, are available in both English and Spanish.