About the ISAE Petty Theft/Shoplifting Class
The ISAE Petty Theft and Shoplifting Class is based on proven practices that help change negative behaviors. Instances of theft impact everyone involved, from the person committing the act, to the individual person or business that is the victim of theft, and even to the entire economy.
According to data from the FBI, the average value of property taken during thefts is $999 for each offense. Multiplied by the number of thefts, that comes out to $5.6 billion nationally every year! For yearly data on theft and other crimes, see this chart.
A large percentage of shoplifting is committed by teens. According to BizFluent.com, this doesn't just impact the economy, but also the teenagers committing the crime. Being arrested for shoplifting can end up with a criminal record, which may make it more difficult to get into college, obtain employment, and pursue other life goals. Repeat offenders will face even stiffer penalties, which is why intervention programs like the ISAE petty theft and shoplifting class is so important.
Shoplifting affects everyone. Experts estimate that the average family will spend three hundred dollars every year to subsidize the cost of what shoplifters steal as business raise prices to make up for losses from theft. After all, with studies showing that theft costs retailers $50 billion annually, they have no choice.
With all of that in mind, it's clear why changing behaviors to end theft and shoplifting is important. Next, we'll dive into how the ISAE petty theft class does that.
Topics Covered in the ISAE Petty Theft/Shoplifting Class
Values clarification —This section begins to first identify Accepting Responsibility that is broken down into two parts: personal and indirect.
Personal responsibility means taking ownership of your own behavior and the consequences of that behavior. Indirect responsibility means moving beyond yourself and taking action to help others or situations around you that call for assistance. Once the class has discussed personal and indirect responsibility, we move right into Values.
Values are person's judgment of what is important in life. As we begin to accept responsibility, it challenges us to evaluate the values we hold true for ourselves. We begin to unfold values by determining four reasons that values are important: 1) Values determine our goals and outcomes in life; 2) The goals we choose are the outer expression of our personal values. 3) Values determine how we perceive any particular situation; 4) Values determine the outcomes we set and our decisions are made to achieve them.
Our decision-making is organized in a way to ensure the personal values are matched. After the discussion, the class will complete a worksheet identifying all their values, identifying their top five values, identifying which values were in conflict based on their current charge, and what influences led to their behavior to engage in theft. Lastly, there we engage in an activity that reinforces selecting values first before making decisions that go against them.
Influence examination — Influence is something or someone that could consciously or unconsciously affect your thoughts, feelings or actions. Attitude is a settled way of thinking or feeling about something or someone that is reflected in our behavior. Actions are our behavior. Once we become influenced, we develop a certain attitude about it and we behave in that manner. The petty theft class will also discuss how our influences affects whether we engage in theft or not. ISAE focuses on choices and consequences; we are free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences of our choice.
Personal goal setting — At the end of petty theft/shoplifting class we begin to talk about S.M.A.R.T. Goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. We discuss each part of the acronym and generate an example for each. Next, the class is given time to write a SMART goal based what they want to achieve. These goals are to be shared in class.
Self-esteem and victim empathy building — Self-esteem is an important part of our discussion on values. We also talk about the Ripple Effect, in which one small change can have an enormous impact. We may see our actions as isolated and not hurting anyone, but the ripple effect shows that our actions can have a large impact on people without us realizing it. This section is accompanied by a worksheet to complete which breaks down the effect on self, effect on other person or business, effect on family, effect on community and friends, and effect on other people's family or employee's family (of that business).
Costs and Legal Issues Associated with Petty Theft — Class participants will complete a worksheet called “What did it really cost you? — Was it worth it?“ This is the first activity of the class. The worksheet breaks down participants total cost of legal consequences, total time lost, and other negatives that were a cost besides times and money, like a relationship change, trust, their reputation, their job, or their involvement in other activities. Then they will ask themselves the questions, “Was it worth it? Why or Why not?“ Each participant in class will share their information.
After that worksheet, the class spends time providing information about the laws and legal rights of theft charges, starting with defining the distinctions of the justice system and the different courts (civil, criminal and municipal and juvenile) and breaking down the laws of theft for petty, misdemeanor, or felony charges. The class provides information about the statute of limitations and the factors that the court will take into consideration before making a decision as to the length and severity of an offender's punishment.
Lastly, participants are given information about Fast Facts Associated with Shoplifting. Participants are always shocked to find out that shoplifting is America's #1 property crime, with an average of 550,000 incidents per day! Overall, the most common items stolen are: groceries, cosmetics, electronics, and clothing.
Legal Rights and Responsibilities Quiz — There is a 21 question quiz that the class will complete towards the end of class. But don't worry! There is no failing score for this quiz. All questions will be reviewed and discussed as a group to ensure everyone has learned.
What Would You Do Activity — This is a fun activity. The participants are divided into small groups and are given one to two scenarios to discuss. These scenarios are designed to give participants the opportunity to put into action the information they learned from class. In the activity, they have a think about a situation and make the better choice. The point is to discover whether they will think about their values before acting on impulse, if they think about the legal consequences before taking that next step, and hopefully think about their influences around them.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Petty Theft/Shoplifting Class
Many people have questions about how our petty theft classes. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions.
1. How long does the petty theft/shoplifting class take? Weekday Theft classes are from 5pm to 10pm. Weekend Theft Alcohol Classes are 9am to 3:30pm
2. Is there a test at the end of the theft class? There is no test given to complete a class. A participant earns their certificate by paying for the class in full, attending the entire class, participating, and completing all class requirements.
3. Will I be required to talk during the theft class? ISAE highly recommends that each participant engages in class verbally and completes worksheets and class activities. As part of the process of accepting responsibility, each participant will start by introducing themselves: name, age, describing the situation (When? Where? What was taken?), what they would do differently, and what are they expecting to get out of class.
4. Is my information kept confidential? Every participant's information is kept confidential. Doors are closed and only those required to be in class will be allowed. Exceptions are translators, if it is a parent-teen class, a minor who is a run risk and needs close supervision, and/or a participant with other disabilities, etc.
5. Are there breaks for meals and can I bring food? Yes, there are two breaks for 10-15 minutes each. Weekend day classes also offer an additional 30-minute lunch break. Participants can bring food, especially for the weekend day classes. Minors are not allowed to leave the premises, so they are always reminded to bring a lunch and/or snacks.
6. What if I miss my class? Can I reschedule? If a participant misses their class, they can contact the office on the next business day between 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to reschedule.
7. Who are the instructors of the Theft Class? Instructors are licensed professionals, in various career fields, mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, or professionals in the criminal justice field, just to name a few. They are trained extensively by ISAE before facilitating a class and ISAE provides ongoing training, updates, and evaluations with instructors. The majority (if not all) of the instructors are currently working in their field and have been for years and some instructors have been employed by ISAE for more than 10 years..
8. When will I receive the certificate of completion? Once payment is received in full, each participant will receive the certificate immediately once class is over.
9. What other advice do you have for people attending the class, for their experience to be as comfortable as possible? Participants should prepare themselves for the class by getting enough rest, eating a meal or snack prior or bringing one, taking off sufficient time to get to the class on time due to heavy traffic in Colorado, wearing comfortable clothes that they can sit in for five to six hours, take medications as scheduled unless it has a sleepiness side effect. Try to postpone if possible, if a person has any physical health problems, bring what they need to support them (like a pillow to sit on or for their back, stand up), bring a water bottle, something to write on (most locations do not have tables), wear clothing that helps to adjust the temp in their bodies (sweater, short sleeves, pants, shorts, etc.) and most importantly of all, allow themselves to be open to hearing and experiencing new things, as it makes the time go by quicker and it makes learning fun!