Programs & Policies; the United States Fight Against Organized Crime
The purpose of this thesis is to explore programs used by the United States Government in its attempt to rid the country of organized crime. An in-depth look into the history of La Cosa Nostra and their operations will be followed by examinations of governmental programs such as the Internal Revenue Service, Grants of Immunity, Witness Protection Program, Informants & Undercover Agents, and finally the RICO Act. Conclusions regarding the overall effectiveness of the programs will be made.
Criminal activity permeates many aspects of American society. Crime is at a very high level in the United States, from small petty crime such as shop lifting to organized bank frauds exceeding millions of dollars. According to preliminary data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the number of Crime Index offenses reported to law enforcement during the first 6 months of 2002 increased 1.3 percent when compared to figures reported for the same period of 2001. The Crime Index, which is viewed by many as an indicator of the Nation's crime experience, is comprised of violent crime offenses and property crime offenses. One aspect of crime that has been an enduring problem for law enforcement officials since its adoption in the 1920's is organized crime. The persistence of organized criminals to survive amid a numbers of governmental programs aimed for the solely for bring down their hierarchal structures has frustrated law enforcement agencies working on their cases. Today, organized crime is a threat to the citizens of the United States and it demands full attention from law enforcement agencies. This research will explore some of the methods used by the United States Government to combat organized crime. Methods such as the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) involvement in fighting organized crime, grants of immunity, witness protection program, the use of informants, and the RICO Act will all