No change is a good change? Restrictive deterrence in illegal drug markets
Purpose This study applies the concept of restrictive deterrence to a sample of drug market offenders. In particular, we assess the influence of behavioral changes post-arrest on time to rearrest.Methods The sample consists of arrest data on all drug offences in South Australia from the start of 2000 to the end of 2007 (n = 26819). Cox proportional hazard models are used to conduct survival analyses. Supplementary models focus on those repeatedly arrested for cannabis cultivation to assess the influence of adjusting amounts of drugs on time to rearrest.Results Changing behaviors is related to more rapid rearrest. Switching offense location, drug seriousness, and charge seriousness are all risk factors. However, among offenders repeatedly arrested for cannabis cultivation, changing location and increasing the number of plants they grow is related to a longer period before rearrest.Conclusions Offenders that change their drug market behavior after being arrested appear to be placing themselves in situations in which they are more likely to fail due to the dangers of breaking into an unfamiliar market or offense pattern. Offenders with the longest post-arrest survival seem to be those that maintain their overall pattern of behavior while implementing subtle arrest avoidance techniques.
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