Shoplifting occurs for many reasons. Often young people shoplift simply for the thrill or excitement, unaware of the legal consequences. For others shoplifting is an emotional outlet; it can also be used as a misguided way to stretch a family budget. Regardless of the reason, EAC developed STOPLIFT to combat the crime of shoplifting.
STOPLIFT is an education and remediation program for beginning offenders charged with shoplifting, serving clients in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan. It is a sentencing alternative that is used by the Court either as a pre-trial referral or as a condition of sentence. Through a full day Saturday class with workshops and assessments, shoplifting behavior is examined, legal and social consequences are discussed, needs are identified and problems that led to the behavior are addressed. A teacher and a social worker facilitate the program.
Referrals to STOPLIFT are made directly by the presiding judges (adults) and probation officers (juveniles). Classes are held at specified locations in each county. For jurisdictions that offer juvenile classes, program services are also held on Saturdays. A parent or guardian accompanies all juveniles. In addition to the material covered in the adult program, the juvenile class includes help for parents on setting limits and managing their child’s behavior. STOPLIFT has been operating since 1981.