A Kid Gets Caught Shoplifting; Interrogation, Intimidation, and Extortion Follow
A True Crime Story Designed by Corrective Education Company
This holiday season, despite the success of Amazon, big retailers like Wal-Mart are packed. And Wal-Mart is on high alert for shoplifters…
When the poor, the desperate, or even the occasional thrill seeker shoplifts, “asset protection” employees swoop in. The shocked “perp” is taken to a dimly lit back room, frightened and alone. Instead of asking for a signed statement and having the police called, increasingly stores such as Wal-Mart are turning to Corrective Education Company and the notion of “Restorative Justice.” The idea of restorative justice is worthy; being that the criminal should be punished in a way that restores the harm caused and rehabilitates the offender, resulting in a measure of justice for all.
The idea is being turned on its head by Corrective Education Company according to city officials and attorneys for victims. Offenders are promptly shown a short but frightening video graphically explaining the pain and loss they will experience with a criminal shoplifting conviction. Instead of payment of a municipal fine, Corrective Education Company uses the threat of criminal prosecution to charge an absurdly high fee, often $400, to avoid calling the police. Corrective Education Company provides video-tape or an online course designed to “rehabilitate” the offender. These questionable practices by Corrective Action Company, particularly in a Wal-Mart store, have drawn scrutiny:
“…in a 2015 suit brought by the San Francisco City Attorney, who asserted that the tactics used by the company, Corrective Education Company, were illegal. In fact, the City Attorney, Dennis Herrera, equated CEC's business model with “a Hobson's choice, which is really no choice at all.”
“This company has set up a private, pseudo-justice system that is based on profit,” he said, calling the program “textbook extortion.”
A Superior Court judge in San Francisco agreed.
In a ruling in mid-August, Judge Harold Kahn, barred CEC from operating in California, where the company has about 20 percent of its business.
Our firm believes that all crime needs to be appropriately punished. We are offended, though, when corporate crime victims cross the line and extort, through fear and false threats, in order to profit.
If you have been a victim of extortion, please contact Humphreys Wallace Humphreys, PC, for a Free Case Review. You can also contact our firm by telephone.