Effective sanction avoidance in drug trafficking : The construction and validation of the restrictive deterrence utility scale using a sample of female drug offenders

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationJournal of Community Psychology
Online published4 Jul 2023
Publication statusOnline published - 4 Jul 2023


Drug traffickers perform many crime strategies to avoid legal sanctions. The use of any crime strategy is mainly for reducing the risk of arrest, which has been the focus of research on restrictive deterrence. This study aims to develop a Restrictive Deterrence Utility Scale (RDUS) to measure the effectiveness of crime strategies used in drug trafficking. Survey data were collected from August to October 2021, including 294 female drug offenders aged between 21 and 61 years serving sentences with a median length of around 10 years in a Southern city in Mainland China. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was conducted for scale investigation. Three valid and reliable factors for the RDUS were found: anomaly avoidance, reduction of exposure time, and the use of weapons and tools. Composite reliability, convergent validity, discriminant validity of three factors were confirmed with Cronbach α being higher than 0.9, that being higher than correspondent Average Variance Extracted which all being higher than 0.5 and higher than correspondent factor correlation. 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. © 2023 The Authors.

Research Area(s)

  • China, crime strategy, drug trafficking, restrictive deterrence, sanction avoidance