First-Time Offender, Shoplifting Program
As an outgrowth of the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP), the prosecuting attorneys and Northern Community Mediation worked collaboratively by implementing the First-Time Offender, Shoplifting Program. There are two phases to the First-Time Offender, Shoplifting Program.
During the first phase, the offender must complete the requirements of the basic VORP. If the victim is willing, the offender has a face-to-face meeting with the victim. The offender is also required to write letters of apology: one to the victim and a second one to his/her parents if the offender is a minor. The offender must also pay restitution as ordered by the court.
Upon successful completion of the first phase of the program, the offender advances to the second phase. This includes attending two discussion sessions with other first-time shoplifting offenders, participating in a town visit, fulfilling at least eight hours of community service, watching an instructional DVD, discussing the impact of shoplifting with his/her parents (if minors), demonstrating remorse, and paying a nominal fee.
It is important to note that the First-Time Offender, Shoplifting Program is a matter of privilege and not entitlement. If an offender does not meet the standards of the program, his/her case is turned back to the prosecutors office for review of the authorization of charges.