Organized Crime Essay - Ciminology

Topics: Crime, Gang, Organized crime Pages: 6 (2346 words) Published: March 11, 2013
Organized Crime

Organized crime has been around for many years. Since the first definition was written organized crime has grown into multiple different meanings. According to the text, Introduction to Criminology, organized crime refers to “organizations that use violence, provide illegal services, and have immunity of operation.” (Hagan) Organized crime is also used throughout the world within gangs and secret organizations. There are multiple types and definitions of organized crime. The basic four types are; Political-Social, Mercenary (Predatory), In-Group-Oriented, and Syndicate Organized Crime. When it comes to actually finding the meaning of organized crime, it can be difficult depending on which definition one is referring to. There are many details involved when defining major topics in criminology, so if they are not broken down individually and taken seriously, then it continues to be near impossible to reduce crime throughout the country. Throughout this paper I will be discussing why each type of organized crime is important, why it is necessary to have so many definitions, along with examples of crimes that have been committed and the types of people who are usually involved.

Organized crime has been known to have over 150 definitions (Lampe). Therefore, depending on which type of organized crime one is referring to, it makes it difficult to find common grounds. Though this does make it hard to define organized crime exactly, it is also necessary to know of all the definitions so there is a better understanding of the actual concept. Each type of organized crime also refers to different categories. Usually these categories are based on the types of people that have committed these crimes, along with the actual crime that has been committed. Out of the four basic categories of organized crime, which were listed above, the one that is most commonly used and what writers usually refer to when discussing organized crime, is Syndicate Crime. Syndicate Crime has three key features. These features include (1) “A continuing group or organization that participates in illicit activity in any society by the use of force, intimidation, or threats” (2) The structuring of a group or organization whose purpose is to provide illicit services for which there is a strong public demand through the use of secrecy on the part of associates” and (3) The assurance of protection and immunity necessary for its operation through political corruption or avoidance of prosecution.” (Hagan) Examples of these would be organizations such as street gangs or any type of group of people who join together to commit crime.

There can also be groups of people who join together to act upon violence, and are involved in illicit services. For example, the term loan sharking, which is commonly known as lending money illegally as usurious interest rates, is a common illegal activity that is usually committed in groups of multiple people. There are over 150 definitions of organized crime. (Lampe) This becomes a common issue because, the fact that there are so many definitions of organized crime, it makes it difficult for one or more organizations to agree on determining the consequences of the crimes that have been committed. Another definition of organized crime is, “any criminal activity involving two or more individuals, specialized or non-specialized, encompassing some form of social structure, with some form of leadership, utilizing certain modes of operation, in which the ultimate purpose of the organization is found in the enterprises of the particular group.” (Hagan) When discussing organized crime there are some myths that have been found throughout. It has been said that street gangs are highly organized, very cohesive, and have centralized leadership. Also, that they are all violent, control drug distribution, and franchise drug distribution to the rest of the country. Although...

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Hagan, Frank E. "Chapter 12 Organized Crime." Introduction to Criminology: Theories, Methods, and Criminal Behavior. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2011. 381-423.
Hall, T. (2010). Where the money is: The geographies of organized crime. Geography, 95(00167487), 4-13.
Lampe, Klaus. (2011). Organized Crime in the U.S. Organized Crime Research. Retrieved November 8, 2011, from
Mackenzie, S., & Hamilton-Smith, N. (2011). Measuring police impact on organized crime. Policing, 34(1), 7-30.
Murray, K. (2010). Dismantling organized crime groups through enforcement of the POCA money laundering offences. Journal of Money Laundering Control, 13(1), 7-14.
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Shelley, Louise. (2005) Identifying and Assessing Links Between Organized Crime and Terrorism. Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center. Retrieved November 8, 2011, from
Verfaillie, K., & Tom, V. B. (2008). Proactive policing and the assessment of organized crime. Policing, 31(4), 534-552.
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