Origins and History of Organized Crime

Topics: Al Capone, American Mafia, Organized crime Pages: 3 (945 words) Published: April 23, 2013

Organized Crime has always been a big concern in the United States, and although it is not at its height as it was in the 20th century, it still has some affect on us and is evolving every day. Analyzing the origins and history of organized crime will assist us in getting a better understanding of this ongoing issue. Reviewing organized crime’s origins and history will allow us to point the major areas concerning the foundation and definitions of organized crime, how the organized crime gained a foothold in the US, how they sought to influence the government, and how they are doing now, post-prohibition era. The major areas concerning the foundation and definition of organized crime although very difficult to define, the range of characteristics of a criminal organization, in combination with the definitions of the crime, enterprise, and racketeering as outlined in the current law, as a structure for the trends in organized crime and is important for legal but policy purposes, (Knowles, 2010). “The FBI defines organized crime as any group having some manner of a formalized structure and whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities, such as racketeering, which includes but not limited to, bribery, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, use of extreme violence and murder” (, 2013). The crimes they carry out aren’t the only attributes that characterize them; the organizations rules and admission play a key role in the foundation of organized crime. The illegal activities crime organizations conduct are done in order to gain power, whether it be physical man power, political power, or geographical power. In order to carry out these highly strategized activities, they must be fit for the part and be honorable enough to be considered part of the “family”, so tests and missions must be completed in order to be deemed worthy, most importantly, only the leader can deem a recruit worthy. In organized crime hierarchy is the...

References: Abadinsky, H. (2009). Organized crime: Organized Crime in Chicago. Pg.109 (9th ed.).
Bemont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning
FBI.Gov. (2013). Organized Crime: Glossary of Terms. Retrieved on 4/5/2013 from
Knowles, W. B. (2010). Organized Crime in the U.S: Trends and Issues for Congress.
Pg. 4. Retrieved on 4/4/2013 from Kaplan University-Online Library.
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