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Positive Returns Shoplifting Treatment Program

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Information about Positive Returns Shoplifting Treatment Program
Health & Medicine

Published on February 4, 2009

Author: healthepath

Source: slideshare.net

Description

The Positive Returns Program provides an alternative sentencing solution as a diversion for court ordered offenders prosecuted for shoplifting, petty theft, misdemeanor larceny, employee theft or other stealing offenses.
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“ Positive Returns” A Program for first time offenders apprehended for shoplifting Compiled and developed by Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW, NBCCH HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Positive Returns Program Table of Contents Literature Review Argument for a Diversion Program: An Alternative from Criminal Sanctions Reduction of Elimination of Future Shoplifting Behaviors Positive Returns Program Guidelines Supplemental Forms- examples available upon request Court Registration Form- signed by defendant, with copy to court officer. Offender Program Information Sheet- received and acknowledged at time of registration. Positive Returns Orientation- signed by program participant at beginning of first session. Failure to Attend Notification- faxed to court officer or designee. Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Positive Returns Program

Table of Contents

Literature Review

Argument for a Diversion Program: An Alternative from Criminal Sanctions

Reduction of Elimination of Future Shoplifting Behaviors

Positive Returns Program Guidelines

Supplemental Forms- examples available upon request

Court Registration Form- signed by defendant, with copy to court officer.

Offender Program Information Sheet- received and acknowledged at time of registration.

Positive Returns Orientation- signed by program participant at beginning of first session.

Failure to Attend Notification- faxed to court officer or designee.

Literature Review The literature review was drawn from the fields of Psychiatry, Psychology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice. It included research compiled and published during the period from 1991 to 2000 in professional journal articles and a PhD. Dissertation. Studies were conducted in a variety of urban and suburban settings in the continental U.S. and Canada. The following conclusions emerge: Majority of shoplifters are most accurately defined as “Atypical Theft Offenders”. Fewer than 5% of shoplifters meet diagnostic criteria for “Kleptomania”. Estimated that one in every twelve shoppers shoplifts. Estimated that one in every 20 to 40 shoplifters are apprehended. Historically, as few as 10% of all shoplifters apprehended were prosecuted. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Literature Review

The literature review was drawn from the fields of Psychiatry, Psychology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice. It included research compiled and published during the period from 1991 to 2000 in professional journal articles and a PhD. Dissertation. Studies were conducted in a variety of urban and suburban settings in the continental U.S. and Canada.

The following conclusions emerge:

Majority of shoplifters are most accurately defined as “Atypical Theft Offenders”.

Fewer than 5% of shoplifters meet diagnostic criteria for “Kleptomania”.

Estimated that one in every twelve shoppers shoplifts.

Estimated that one in every 20 to 40 shoplifters are apprehended.

Historically, as few as 10% of all shoplifters apprehended were prosecuted.

Types of shoplifters (approx.): Impulsive – (15%) Occasional – (15%) Episodic – (1.7%) Amateur – (56.4%) Semi-professional – (11.7%) Motivational Characteristics Entitlement – views self as “victim” justified in “pay-back”. Addiction – shoplifting serves an alternate purpose. Peer Pressure – majority of high school and some college students. Stress – linked to unwelcome change and maladaptive mechanisms. Impulsiveness – vague and superficial reasons for shoplifting. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Types of shoplifters (approx.):

Impulsive – (15%)

Occasional – (15%)

Episodic – (1.7%)

Amateur – (56.4%)

Semi-professional – (11.7%)

Motivational Characteristics

Entitlement – views self as “victim” justified in “pay-back”.

Addiction – shoplifting serves an alternate purpose.

Peer Pressure – majority of high school and some college students.

Stress – linked to unwelcome change and maladaptive mechanisms.

Impulsiveness – vague and superficial reasons for shoplifting.

Shoplifting behavior has psychological roots with psychodynamic “triggers” that make it amenable to treatment. Contributing factors include: Beliefs about shoplifting Theory of “loss-substitution-by theft” shoplifting Maladaptive strategies for coping with perceived or actual loss involving: -Job, home -Significant other(s) -Separation or divorce -Life-threatening illness, or death of significant other -Occurrence of cancer in significant other, or in the offender First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Shoplifting behavior has psychological roots with psychodynamic “triggers” that make it amenable to treatment.

Contributing factors include:

Beliefs about shoplifting

Theory of “loss-substitution-by theft” shoplifting

Maladaptive strategies for coping with perceived or actual loss involving:

-Job, home

-Significant other(s)

-Separation or divorce

-Life-threatening illness, or death of significant other

-Occurrence of cancer in significant other, or in the offender

There are no sweeping demographic descriptors for “profiling” the first time offender apprehended for shoplifting. Offenders are found distributed within all socioeconomic status ranges, levels of education, ethnicity, and genders without significant reliability for prediction. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Arguments for a Diversion Program as an Alternative from Criminal Sanctions A shoplifters treatment program will: Provide the offender with a positive reconstructive experience Strengthen social sanctions through the group process Identify underlying stressors that might contribute to further criminal involvement Reduce the burden on the criminal justice monitoring system. Support the belief that shoplifting is a serious offense. Eliminate the “guesswork” of screening low to high-risk offenders Facilitate structured monitoring of offenders through the intervention process. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

A shoplifters treatment program will:

Provide the offender with a positive reconstructive experience

Strengthen social sanctions through the group process

Identify underlying stressors that might contribute to further criminal involvement

Reduce the burden on the criminal justice monitoring system.

Support the belief that shoplifting is a serious offense.

Eliminate the “guesswork” of screening low to high-risk offenders

Facilitate structured monitoring of offenders through the intervention process.

The best program will initiate a positive self-change process, reduce lingering hostility or beliefs of unfairness toward the justice system, and encourage healthier strategies for coping. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Reduction or Elimination of Future Shoplifting Behavior The research devotes much of its focus to the identification of attributes that would help to isolate a common theme of “causation” which led to the ATO (Atypical Theft Offense). In behavioral terms- “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”. The literature review included a sampling of programs developed for the purpose of extinguishing the undesired behavior “shoplifting”. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Common elements were found in all: Implemented to offer options as diversions form harsher penalties or criminal record. 1 to 2 year probationary period. Included components of: Admission of responsibility Acknowledgment of seriousness of nature of the offense, possible consequences. Awareness of impact on community, merchants. Connection between psychological health and shoplifting behavior. Increasing awareness risk factors. Relapse prevention. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Implemented to offer options as diversions form harsher penalties or criminal record.

1 to 2 year probationary period.

Included components of:

Admission of responsibility

Acknowledgment of seriousness of nature of the offense, possible consequences.

Awareness of impact on community, merchants.

Connection between psychological health and shoplifting behavior.

Increasing awareness risk factors.

Relapse prevention.

Program delivery formats varied extensively, for example: 3 hours total, group, one day. 8 hours total, one-day workshop. 8 hours total, group, 4 hours, 2 days, plus 60 hours of community service 12 hours total, group, 2 hours, 2 times per week, 3 weeks 16 hours total, group, 4-day period. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Program delivery formats varied extensively, for example:

3 hours total, group, one day.

8 hours total, one-day workshop.

8 hours total, group, 4 hours, 2 days, plus 60 hours of community service

12 hours total, group, 2 hours, 2 times per week, 3 weeks

16 hours total, group, 4-day period.

Research data regarding correlations between duration of programs and potential recidivism is absent. The only conclusion that might be drawn would be that the most positive indicator of re-offending would be the absence of involvement in a relapse prevention program. All programs discussed claimed a less than 5%-7% recidivism rate, while the national standard for shoplifting re-offending is believed to be as high as 21%-25%. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Of interest, none of the studies or programs reported in our extensive literature review utilized a specific screening tool, risk assessment, or other instrument to determine an offender’s need for participation in a shoplifting program or as a predictor for risk of re-offense. In this writer’s opinion it could be concluded that due to the atypical nature of the offense, there existed a de facto risk of re-offending unless some preventive measure was taken, therefore shoplifting programs did not incorporate a participant pre-selection process. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Although some programs incorporate use of a risk assessment instrument, the use of a risk assessment instrument for shoplifters is not currently supported by the literature and appears to be a non-essential extra step (and expense) in the process when evaluating a “best outcome” approach. Reconsideration of use of the risk-screening tool is warranted. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Our “Positive Returns Program”: 9 hours total, 1 ½ hour weekly sessions for 6 weeks. Advantages: Provides opportunity for offender to: process information, explore causes, secondary issues, develop empathy, reframe cognitions, and to develop minimally adequate relapse prevention plans. Allows for pre-test and post-test implementation and criteria-based treatment outcomes. Reinforces the message that shoplifting is a serious crime, without the program appearing punitive. Duration of treatment provides an appropriate level of intensity and is somewhat proportionate in length in relation to other successful programs. Requires commitment from offenders without being overly burdensome in regards to treatment compliance. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

Our “Positive Returns Program”:

9 hours total, 1 ½ hour weekly sessions for 6 weeks.

Advantages:

Provides opportunity for offender to: process information, explore causes, secondary issues, develop empathy, reframe cognitions, and to develop minimally adequate relapse prevention plans.

Allows for pre-test and post-test implementation and criteria-based treatment outcomes.

Reinforces the message that shoplifting is a serious crime, without the program appearing punitive.

Duration of treatment provides an appropriate level of intensity and is somewhat proportionate in length in relation to other successful programs.

Requires commitment from offenders without being overly burdensome in regards to treatment compliance.

PROGRAM GUIDELINES All first time offenders will be referred to the shoplifting program. Offenders agree to take responsibility for the offense as a condition of participation. Cost - We attempt to balance affordability with convenience by offering these options: $150- A fee of $25 paid at the time of registration, this includes the cost of the workbook. The balance is paid in $25 installments per session. Discounted if paid in advance, $125 total for all 6 sessions. $175 “Full Day” alternative, Saturday, once per month. 8am-5:30pm, 9 hour program completed in one day. This option works well with individuals who might be required to commute long distances and/or have work or child care difficulties. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

PROGRAM GUIDELINES

All first time offenders will be referred to the shoplifting program.

Offenders agree to take responsibility for the offense as a condition of participation.

Cost - We attempt to balance affordability with convenience by offering these options:

$150- A fee of $25 paid at the time of registration, this includes the cost of the workbook. The balance is paid in $25 installments per session.

Discounted if paid in advance, $125 total for all 6 sessions.

$175 “Full Day” alternative, Saturday, once per month. 8am-5:30pm, 9 hour program completed in one day. This option works well with individuals who might be required to commute long distances and/or have work or child care difficulties.

PROGRAM GUIDELINES (cont’d) Offenders are responsible for all costs incurred. Maximum of 12 participants per group. Attendance is required for all sessions. Completion of assignments required for all participants. Program is scheduled to begin on a monthly, or as-needed basis. Program will address variables of shoplifting behaviors and interventions as mentioned in collected research. Attention will be given to causative factors that contribute to maladaptive compensation and to the prevention of future behaviors. Attendance and completion of assignments required for satisfactory completion of program. Each individual will develop a written relapse prevention plan. First Time Offenders Apprehended for Shoplifting Review of the Research Literature and Treatment Program Recommendations Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc .

PROGRAM GUIDELINES (cont’d)

Offenders are responsible for all costs incurred.

Maximum of 12 participants per group. Attendance is required for all sessions. Completion of assignments required for all participants.

Program is scheduled to begin on a monthly, or as-needed basis.

Program will address variables of shoplifting behaviors and interventions as mentioned in collected research.

Attention will be given to causative factors that contribute to maladaptive compensation and to the prevention of future behaviors.

Attendance and completion of assignments required for satisfactory completion of program.

Each individual will develop a written relapse prevention plan.

For specific program start dates or more information please contact: Terry Richardson, MSW, LCSW, NBCCH HEALTHePATH Associates, Inc. (417) 626-7900

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