Introduction In his important article, Criminal Justice, Inc., Professor John Rappaport identifies the establishment of a new and novel institution: a private company retained by retail stores to dispose of cases involving shoplifting claims. Still in its infancy, this new development has spawned two private for-profit, specialist companies since 2010: the Corrective Education Company (CEC) […]


John Rappaport *

In the past decade, major retailers nationwide have begun to employ a private, for-profit system to settle criminal disputes, extracting payment from shoplifting suspects in exchange for a promise not to call the police. This Article examines what retailers’ decisions reveal about our public system of criminal justice and the concerns of the agents who run it, the victims who rely on it, and the suspects whose lives it alters. The private policing...