He further pointed out that at such time he would seek information about the person's family dynamics, circumstances and reasons why the crime was committed; and in assessing some offenders further assistance would be offered though other government agencies. If an individual disclosed that he or she has psychological or mental problems, or was abused then he would refer the individual to the Mental Health Clinic for a clinical assessment.
A follow-up report would be sent to him, after which both him and the offender would then come up with some kind of solution for rehabilitation, which could be in the form of paying a fine, donating monies to a charitable organization, performing some community work, or recommendation for regular visits to the Mental Health Clinic. According to Const. Bagher only when individual has shown patterns of recidivism, the tendency by the courts would be to hand down jail time, which sometimes help to moderate his or her behaviour.
If the person was to be caught again, then the offender would be punished, which usually, in most cases, meant a criminal record. However, the Nova Scotia courts usually have a difficult time, according to Const. Bagher, in some cases to give a criminal record for shoplifting. As well, having a good defense lawyer would help. Often times the lawyer would see that the shoplifting charges are dropped on the basis of (the McNaughten Rule), "he didn't know what he was doing" technicality. According to Robert McCleave, a criminal defense lawyer, I have helped some individuals who have shoplifted more than 10 times – it's become a career for them.
At one time a regular shoplifting middleclass client of mine was caught two weeks after she was caught shoplifting. In such a case, and because it was her umpteenth offense, she eventually got a criminal record. Also, it should be known that the middle class have the propensity to shoplift just as, or maybe more, than the lower class and it should be known that money will not save you when you've become a popular face with metro police. In some cases when witnesses such as shop owners, workers and some police officers do not show up on court dates, the cases are thrown out, and all charges dropped allowing the offender to go free.
As well, many retailers such as the Gap, Sears or the Bay often time would not follow-up because of the huge legal cost to them. In concluding, the Positive School provided a better analysis of crimes than that of the Classical School. Nova Scotia's criminal system is influenced by some of the concepts of the Positive School, and while the justice system might not be the most perfect, it still facilitates the healing process and rehabilitation of many offenders.
As well, first time offenders who have committed certain offences, like shoplifting under $1000, are given the opportunity to moderate their behaviour through mentorship and immersion programs, etc. Finally, many people utilize the Halifax Legal Aid to get the necessary legal advice without out-of-the-pocket cost to them. Const. Bagher stated that, when individuals have established patterns of recidivism, giving them a criminal record is the only way to control and deter their deviant behaviour. Even though this does not alter some individuals' deviance, in most cases, it does act as an effective prevention method.
Bagher, Charles. Halifax Metropolitan Police Station. Conversation. May 22, 2003. Chisholm, Vernon. Ministry of the Attorney General. Conversation. May 23, 2003. Curtis, Bill. Investigative Report: The Parole Board. A&E Television. May 24, 2003. Linden, Rick and Tullio Caputo. Early Theories of Criminology. Ed. Rick Linden. Criminology: A Canadian Perspective. University of Manitoba. Harcourt Canada Ltd. McCleave, Robert. Conversation. May 24, 2003. Schur, Edwin, M. Our Criminal Society: The Social and Legal Sources of Crime in America. Prentice-Hall Inc.