The role of desistance capital in the desistance process of Belgian cocaine couriers involved in the cocaine retail market: a multimethod approach

01 November 2020 → 03 November 2022
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Causes and prevention of crime
    • Criminography and methods of criminological investigation
    • Punishment and criminal justice
    • Safety, prevention and police
    • Youth and life course criminology
cocaine courier cocaine retail market desistance capital
Project description

The primary aim of this research is to gain insight in the desistance process of a specific and emerging group at the cocaine retail market namely the cocaine couriers. The research will focus on whether desistance capital, and more specifically the degree of personal, social and community capital, supports desistance among this specific group of offenders. In the last few years, the cocaine retail market has witnessed the emergence of new players and became more diverse in where and how they are operating (EMCDDA & EUROPOL, 2019). Recent research has suggested that the delivery of cocaine by couriers may be an important additional mechanism for the retail of cocaine in Europe, including Belgium (Søgaard, 2019; Colman et al., 2018; Kauffmann, 2018). However, our knowledge about the desistance process of cocaine couriers involved in the cocaine retail market is non-existent. Former research on desistance mainly focused on studying desistance in a general population of offenders instead of on one specific group of offenders. In order to fill this knowledge gap, a multi-method design will be used, conducting interviews with cocaine couriers at the Belgian cocaine retail market. Getting insight into the specificities of their desistance process will inspire the conceptual development and understanding of the concept "desistance capital" and contribute to the emerging field of studying desistance.