UAlbany CRJ 203 - Organized Crime

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RCRJ 203: CriminologyCynthia Najdowski2/17/14Organized CrimeWhat is organized Crime?- Group crime of any kind- Subtypes- Driven by political and social motivations (terrorist groups)- Seek psychological gratification (motorcycle gangs)- Seek profits and power (street gangs)- Seek profits and power in exchange for illicit services, through use of force threats and coercion (syndicate crime)Classic Pattern- Strategic and tactical crimes- Assure discipline- Ex- assault, coercion, extortion, murder, etc.- Illegal businesses and activities- Provide services in response to public demand- Ex – gambling, loan sharking, labor racketeering, drug trafficking, prostitution, porn, stolen property, etc.- Legitimate business- Provide a “cover” for money gained from illegal operations- Fronts for operations and meeting places.Models of Organized Crime- Organized crime as a nationwide conspiracyMafia? What Mafia?- Joseph Valachi was the 1st to publically acknowledge its existence.La Costa Nostra- Gained momentum because of prohibition- Allegiance of 24 “families”- Members of Sicilian or Italian descent- Formal structureCriminal Careers- Organized criminals tend to:- Maintain their livelihood through crime- Identify with crime and criminal activity- Possess strong organizational identity- Belong to structured groups- Come from low income areas- Subscribe to a code of secrecyWiseguy/Goodfellas- Nonfiction book by crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi/ adapted screenplay withMartin Scorsese- Depicts one mans role in the rise and fall of the Lucchese crime family from 1955 to 1980The Mafia of the 1960’s-90’s- Informants gave FBI power- Disputes between families- Many leaders were agingModels of Organized Crime- Organized crime as a nationwide conspiracy- Organized crime as local, ethnic groups- Organized crime as enterprseEthnic Succession Theory- Organized crime provides a means of upward mobility for groups who are stuck in the bottom rungs of the social ladder.Shift to organized Crime- Criminal activities take place in more then 1 country- Ex- money laundering, terrorist activities, arms trafficking, drug trafficking, human trafficking.Enterprise theory- “Spectrum of legitimacy”- Organized crime fills the demand for particular goods/services that the legitimate market cannot supply.Policy Responses- Supply-focused- Legalization- Interdiction- Target organized criminals- Organized Crime Control Act (1970)Policy Responses- Demand -focused- Education- RehabilitationTheory Application- Classical Theory- Rewards outweigh risks- Anomie Theory- Legitimate means to success are blocked and innovators substitute other means (crime)- Differential Opportunity Theory- Organized crime is viewed as a good opportunity- Criminal subcultures socialize the individual into valuing criminal values and attitudesWhat is Organized Crime?- Not all organized crime is


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UAlbany CRJ 203 - Organized Crime

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