Aims: Drug traffickers perform many criminal strategies to avoid legal sanctions while committing crime. The use of any criminal strategy is mainly motivated by the fact that it can reduce the risk of arrest, and this has been the focus of research on restrictive deterrence. In this context, this study develops a Restrictive Deterrence Utility Scale (RDUS) to measure the effectiveness of the criminal strategies used in drug trafficking.
Methods: Survey data were collected from 294 female drug traffickers aged between 21 and 61 years who were serving sentences in Mainland China. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were conducted for scales investigation.
Results: Based on exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, the results show that there are three valid and reliable factors for the RDUS: anomaly avoidance, reduction of exposure time, and the use of weapons and tools.
Conclusion: We argue that, drawing on the rich body of qualitative-dominated research on restrictive deterrence, an attempt to establish a relevant quantitative form is a meaningful test of the relevance of restrictive deterrence. This study contributes to our understanding of the role of criminal strategies in avoiding sanctions from the point of view of drug traffickers. The RDUS offers a helpful method for assessing the motivation for drug traffickers to persist in drug crime and for formulating appropriate interventions for drug prohibition.
Xin Guan, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
T. Wing Lo, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong