A disproportionate amount of crime is committed by a very small percentage of young habitual offenders. The Serious Habitual Offender Program (SHOP) is a community-based crime intervention program focusing on prevention, reduction and enforcement, targeting habitual youth, and young adult offenders between the ages of 12 and 24. The SHOP team monitors roughly 120 SHOP offenders at any one time. SHOP targets those offenders with the ultimate goal of preventing them from becoming career criminals.
How SHOP works
Potential program participants are selected and referred to SHOP through a Multi-Disciplinary Resource Team (MDRT.) After selection by the MDRT, SHOP officers develop a profile of each youth, looking at criminal history, their family background, living conditions, psychological history and other relevant factors.
SHOP officers monitor activities and investigate criminal offences committed by these youth. The officers focus on ensuring the young people have access to rehabilitation programs and, once any sentence has been served, assure their compliance with court orders and connect them with others who can help them integrate into society.
Participants can be retired from the SHOP program if they reach the cut-off age of 24, have no charges for at least a year or are expected to be in long-term custody.
Who is selected for SHOP?
All SHOP offenders are between the ages of 12 and 24. Some of the entrance criteria may include:
- Number, type and seriousness of criminal offences committed;
- time between offences;
- date last charged;
- degree of violent involvement in past offences (risk to public safety);
- amenability to supervision, treatment and intervention;
- behaviour during periods of incarceration;
- family risk factors (e.g. abuse, criminality);
- educational risk factors;
- substance abuse issues;
- youth risk factors (e.g. mental health);
- involvement in structured activities; and,
- persona (e.g. co-operative, social skills, etc.).
Program partners and objectives
SHOP partners with key community organizations, including:
- Crown Prosecutors Officer
- Calgary Young Offenders Centre
- Calgary and Area Child and Family Services
- City of Calgary, Youth Probation Services
- Calgary Board of Education
- Calgary Catholic School Board
- Various group homes and outreach social agencies.
While the mandate of police is to maximize public safety, partner social agencies and police are focusing on the same individuals. In the intervention zone, police and partners are working together to combine their efforts. This is the core philosophy of SHOP. It relies on the commitment for everybody to do their part as a solution to crime and victimization and a focused effort on bringing social supports to positively impact SHOP individuals.