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Walmart, Corrective Education partner to reduce shrink, help offenders


There aren’t many good-news stories when it comes to loss prevention.

But Walmart and its partner Corrective Education are trying to change that with the introduction of the Walmart Restorative Justice Initiative. The program aims to cut down on the amount of resources local law enforcement has to commit against retail crime; not only effectively reduce shrink, but also reduce the labor hours required to monitor, catch, apprehend, detain and prosecute shoplifters; and help ensure one bad decision doesn’t become the defining moment of an otherwise good person’s life.

Specifically, the Walmart Restorative Justice Initiative gives first-time offenders an opportunity to avoid prosecution by participating in an online education program, at a cost of $400 to the offender, that not only explores the reasons behind why people choose to shoplift but also identifies community resources, such as job training programs or government assistance programs. The offenders also are given access to life coaches who can guide them through the online resource.

“Restorative justice is relatively new in the retail space,” Paul Jaeckle, senior director, asset protection strategy and operations for Walmart, told Drug Store News. “We view restorative justice as a win-win-win initiative,” he said. “The programming allows for Walmart to invest in an individual who made a mistake to help educate them and get their life back on track.”

Recidivism rates through the program are as low as 2%.

The program works. “We have phased the deployment into roughly one-third of our stores nationwide, and we’re pleased to see that the results are very consistent, with between 30% and 40% reductions in calls to law enforcement,” Jaeckle said.

According to CEC, the lifetime cost of an average shoplifter is about $15,000, and this program helps reduce that shrink burden. This $15,000 cost refers to the amount a shoplifter will cost a retailer in their lifetime, specifically referring to losses incurred from merchandise stolen without being caught, paperwork needed to process a shoplifter when caught, employee hours devoted to potential shoplifting and more.


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