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NCJ Number: 212423 Find in a Library
Title: Changing Structure of Organized Crime Groups
Journal: IALEIA Journal  Volume:16  Issue:2  Dated:Spring 2005  Pages:133-151
Author(s): Jharna Chatterjee Ph.D.
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 19
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on various empirical studies, this article profiles the characteristics of current organized crime groups and suggests ways to counter their operations.
Abstract: The author accepts the definition of "organized crime group" composed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; it is a "structured group of three or more persons existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crimes or offenses in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit." Recent research literature has emphasized that improvement in modes of transport and communication as well as new developments in technology have spurred organized crime's evolution into a global phenomenon with a range of complex structures that include market-driven transnational networks. Network-type structures of organized crime groups are apparently more prevalent than organized crime groups based in ethnicity, region, or family. This is likely due to decentralization and loose, nonhierarchical contacts between groups or cells that involve collaboration for a specific purpose. Carter (1994) suggested that organized crime groups have the characteristics of entrepreneurs, in that they seek out and exploit opportunities for profit in a manner similar to legitimate trade and commerce enterprises, but without regard to laws intended to eliminate or limit the public's accessibility to products for which there is significant demand. Effective measures for countering organized crime groups involve governments becoming aware and informed about the scope and nature of organized crime, cooperation in intelligence sharing and legal assistance, prevention measures that reduce the demand for organized crime's products and services, the development of strategies based on threat assessment, and extensive training of law enforcement personnel in tactics for dealing with organized crime. 47 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Organization development; Organization studies; Organized crime; Organized crime causes; Transnational Organized Crime
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