CEC promotes a revolutionary shift in the Loss Prevention Industry. CEC’s vision is to change lives and reinvent the way petty crimes are handled within retail. We achieve our vision by engaging, educating and leading the industry with innovative products, and stellar customer service!
April 4, 2018
On April 3, 2018, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill issued an opinion critical of anti-shoplifting programs designed to lower crime, reduce recidivism rates and improve consumer safety by classifying restorative justice programs as potentially non-compliant with Indiana law. In response to the IAG opinion, Corrective Education Company issued the following statement:
“The opinion issued by the IAG does not identify any wrongdoing on the part of CEC. Instead, the opinion identifies a number of “potential issues” based on a flawed analysis that misconstrues CEC’s program, omits material facts, and fails to provide clarity to a patchwork of Indiana laws that are inherently confusing in meaning. While we respect the authority of the IAG to issue opinions applicable in the state of Indiana, we strongly disagree with the conclusions reached therein and believe strongly in the merits of our program, including the positive outcomes we were able to reach while working with our retail partners in the Hoosier state.
The foundational premise of the IAG opinion classifies CEC’s program as a “deferred prosecution” program prohibited by Indiana law. CEC’s program is not a prohibited “deferred prosecution” program. A “deferred prosecution” program can only be offered after an accused person is arrested or charged with a crime. CEC designed its educational program as a pre-arrest option. The program is only offered to persons suspected of shoplifting prior to being arrested and charged with a crime. CEC is not aware, nor does the IAG cite in its opinion, any Indiana statute that specifically prohibits a retailer from entering into a private agreement with a suspected shoplifter in order to resolve shoplifting incidents prior to arrest.
CEC’s Restorative Justice program is rooted in a desire to offer free-market solutions for the benefit of a larger public policy problem—retail theft. Today, shoplifting and other types of retail theft cost retailers an estimated $50 billion annually, a cost that is ultimately passed to consumers. Likewise, the drain on law enforcement and our judicial systems is immense.
Since its inception CEC has worked closely with law enforcement and local prosecutors across the United States to offer innovative solutions addressing the problem of retail theft. In fact, just last year, CEC was the recipient of three prestigious awards from the International Association of Chiefs of Police for its work with the Arlington, Texas Police Department. Together, CEC and its retail partners helped reduce shoplifting calls by more than 50 percent and saved the Arlington PD over 12,000 man hours. Further evidence of real savings and positive community impacts being achieved through innovative and effective solutions based on private sector partnerships and free-market solutions. States and jurisdictions who have embraced this concept are seeing tremendous results using the Restorative Justice program.
Since launching its program in 2012, CEC has consistently delivered the following benefits to the communities where we operate:
With so many benefits to communities, it is no surprise that a recent independent analysis of CEC’s program by the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Chicago Law School concluded that CEC’s program and others like it have “the potential to make everyone better off.”
CEC welcomes the opportunity to engage in additional dialogue with the Indiana Attorney General’s office to better address the concerns expressed in their opinion and to help the IAG obtain a better understanding of CEC’s educational platform, including the positive results the people of Indiana stand to gain from free-market solutions like the Restorative Justice program.”
 CEC has likewise tried to work closely with the IAG. In fact, in a private meeting on August 15, 2017, the IAG executive staff informed CEC that the IAG had no objection to CEC’s program being used in Indiana. When the IAG inexplicably and without warning changed its position, CEC immediately discontinued the program in Indiana.
 In 2011, A RAND study found that the average police department spends over $2,100 to process a shoplifting case (www.rand.org/ise/centers/quality_policing/cost-of-crime.html).
 John Rappaport, "Criminal Justice, Inc.," Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics, No. 818 (2017), p 55. This paper can be downloaded at https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/law_and_economics/839/.
As Assistant Police Chief over Arlington PD's field operations, it's Kevin Kolbye's job to take a big picture look at the problems plaguing the community and come up with new strategies to eliminate them.
Back in 2015, he noticed his officers were spending a lot of time responding to calls at big retailers like Walmart.
"When we started looking at crime drivers in Arlington, a lot of it was shoplifting and thefts," said Kolbye.
He says at its peak, officers made 89 arrests for theft / shoplifting at the three Walmart locations in Arlington in the span of about one month. That's problematic not only for the stores, but for the greater public safety.
Corrective Education Company (CEC) was in attendance Wednesday October 24th to receive an award for its retail Restorative Justice initiative along with the Arlington, Texas Police Department (APD).
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the Arlington Police Department, represented by: Chief Will Johnson, Asst. Chief Kevin Kolbye, Lt. Leo Daniels, and Sargeants Jakisha Jones and Dylan Eckstrom received awards on behalf of the department. Jeff Powers from Corrective Education Company was also in attendance.
The awards accepted included:
The Restorative Justice initiative was launched in 2015 to provide an alternative path to incarceration for low-level theft offenders at store level that had been apprehended by retail department’s loss prevention units. Corrective Education Company’s educational technology platform offers restorative justice as an alternative path for the offender rather than traditional means of prosecution and incarceration.
Arlington Police Chief, Will Johnson, stated “We believe the success of this program has led to positive outcomes for the City of Arlington and can certainly be replicated in other communities.”
Since the program began in Arlington, the police department has experienced more than a 50 percent reduction in theft calls for service and overall arrests, which translate to more than 12,000 police resource hours saved.
“We are honored to see our retail partners and a police force like the Arlington Police Department able to make such a positive impact in its community. Our educational technology is able to give low-level offenders an opportunity at a second chance” said CEC chief customer acquisition officer, Jeff Powers. “From giving thousands of hours back to the police department, to helping low level shoplifting offenders make better choices, to assisting retailers challenged with combating the multi-billion dollar problem that is shoplifting, this recognition is greatly appreciated.”
The Arlington Police Department was honored as a recipient of three prestigious awards for efforts related to the Walmart Restorative Justice Initiative. During the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference in Philadelphia, PA, several representatives were on hand to formally receive the awards on behalf of the department.
Police Chief Will Johnson, Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye, Lt. Leo Daniels, Sergeants Jakisha Jones and Dylan Eckstrom, along with Tom Arigi with Walmart and Jeff Powers with Corrective Education Corporation (CEC) accepted the awards in the following categories:
The Arlington Police Department launched an initiative on October 1, 2015 to provide an alternative path to incarceration for low level theft offenders who were apprehended by Walmart loss prevention associates. The program includes an eight-step approach to reducing criminal offenses and enhancing store crime prevention measures inside retail locations.
When preventive measures did not deter the individual, the restorative justice program was utilized to provide an alternative path to incarceration for low level theft offenders who were apprehended by Walmart loss prevention associates. This affords offenders an opportunity to take an educational course. This functional portion of the program assists with the prevention of labeling someone for the remainder of their life with a permanent criminal history if they were handled solely in the criminal justice system. In certain circumstances, the diversionary program also allows offenders an opportunity to obtain employment with Walmart in lieu of criminal prosecution. Experience has demonstrated that obtaining a stable job is one of the greatest components to reducing the likelihood of turning to the commission of thefts to support one’s lifestyle.
The initiative has three major partners – Walmart, Corrective Education Corporation and the Arlington Police Department which seeks to reduce offenses, enhance crime prevention strategies for the retailer and create a sustainable program that builds stronger communities.
“Walmart and CEC have been incredible partners in looking at innovative ways to reduce criminalization and look for alternative methods in dealing with the ongoing issues related to misdemeanor thefts,” said Police Chief Will Johnson. “We believe the success of this program has led to positive outcomes for the City of Arlington and can certainly be replicated in other communities.”
Since the inception of the program, Arlington has experienced more than a 50 percent reduction in theft calls for service and overall arrests. These figures translate into saving more than 12,000 police resource hours which is equivalent to putting more than 4 officers back in the community annually.
This is a sad day for Californians. For five years, Corrective Education Company has partnered with local law enforcement to provide a cost-effective diversion program that has produced excellent results by removing 10,000 people from the criminal justice system. Shoplifting is a gateway crime. Between 60-80 percent of those who go through the criminal justice system reoffend, however our recidivism rate is less than 2 percent. Our program costs less than resolving a red-light ticket in the City of San Francisco and prevents people from a lifelong scarlet letter that hinders them from getting a job, a mortgage or renting an apartment.
We are shocked and dismayed at Tuesday’s ruling regarding our business operations in California. Currently more than 130,000 people are behind bars and thousands of cases clog the legal system daily. Given Tuesday’s decision, it is likely that police will be inundated with calls from retailers, as a result.
California has typically been a progressive leader for restorative justice. We believe this ruling goes against the values of Californians. We are disheartened for our partners and even more importantly for those Californians who face a lifelong scarlet letter because of one bad choice. We stand resolute in our belief that everyone deserves a second chance.