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NCJ Number: 63726 Find in a Library
Title: CONFLICTING IMAGES OF ORGANIZED CRIME (FROM CRITICAL ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 1979, BY R G IACOVETTA AND DAE H CHANG - SEE NCJ-63717)
Author(s): F D HOMER
Corporate Author: Carolina Academic Press
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Carolina Academic Press
Durham, NC 27701
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TWO IMAGES OR ORGANIZED CRIME ARE PRESENTED--AS A SOCIETY AND AS CONNECTIONS--TO HELP ESTABLISH LAW ENFORCEMENT PRIORITIES. THE SECOND IMAGE IS DEEMED MORE USEFUL.
Abstract: TWO RECENT WORKS OF FICTION ILLUSTRATE IMAGES OF ORGANIZED CRIME. IN 'THE GODFATHER,' ORGANIZED CRIME IS SEEN AS A SOCIETY, A CLOSEKNIT GROUP WITH ITS OWN CODE OF BEHAVIOR. THE CONTRASTING IMAGE IN 'THE FRENCH CONNECTION' IS OF SEVERAL GROUPINGS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE SPECIFIC BUSINESS CONNECTIONS (NARCOTICS TRAFFIC). ORGANIZED CRIME SEEN AS A SOCIETY CONSISTS OF A SINGLE GROUP WHICH IS ISOLATED FROM OTHER GROUPS; LEADERSHIP IS HIERARCHICAL, AND THE LEADERS KNOW AND CAN CONTROL WHAT GOES ON WITHIN THE GROUP. ORGANIZED CRIME SEEN AS AN ECONOMIC CONNECTION SUGGESTS DIVERSE ACTIVITY INVOLVING ILLEGAL ACTS CARRIED OUT BY A NUMBER OF PEOPLE OR GROUPS. THERE IS NO CENTRAL AUTHORITY, AND THE CONNECTION RESTS ON MUTUAL INTEREST AND AN AGREED DIVISION OF LABOR. THIS ARTICLE TRACES THE DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANIZED CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES ACCORDING TO THESE TWO PERSPECTIVES, NOTING THAT HISTORICALLY THE SOCIETAL IMAGE HAS BEEN PREDOMINANT. THE INFLUENCE OF THE TWO VIEWS UPON PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF ORGANIZED AND ON LAW ENFORCEMENT IS EXPLAINED. CHANGES IN ORGANIZED CRIME ARE ALSO EXPLORED, INCLUDING A DECREASE IN CLIENT-CENTERED VIOLENCE AND AN INCREASE IN INTERORGANIZATIONAL VIOLENCE. THE CONSEQUENT INSTABILITY OF CRIMINAL GROUPS MAY BE THE RESULT OF PURSUING ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE BY WORKING WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT PART OF THE NUCLEAR SOCIETY. THIS HAS LED TO A LACK OF ETHNIC IDENTIFICATION AND OF THE PERSONAL LOYALTY NEEDED FOR SPECIFIC TASKS. THE CONNECTIONS PERSPECTIVE IS PREFERRED FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT PURPOSES, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE SOCIETAL APPROACH LEADS TO CONCENTRATION OF ATTACK ON A SINGLE SOCIETY, THUS PRESENTING A DANGER TO CIVIL LIBERTIES. POLICE SHOULD DECIDE PRIORITIES IN TERMS OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, NOT CRIMINAL GROUPS. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (RFC)
Index Term(s): Law enforcement; Organized crime; Organized crime investigation; Organized crime prevention; Social organization
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