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NCJ Number: 69341 Find in a Library
Title: ORGANIZED CRIME - A SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PERSPECITVE (FROM CRIME AND DEVIANCE, P 294-312, 1980, BY GRAEME R NEWMAN - SEE NCJ-71075)
Author(s): F A J IANNI; E REUSS-IANNI
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ORGANIZED CRIME IS EXAMINED FROM SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE PERSPECTIVES, WITH EMPHASIS ON ITS HISTORY, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS, AND CONTROL STRATEGIES.
Abstract: CRIMINOLOGISTS TRADITIONALLY DEFINE ORGANIZED CRIME AS A COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALS, WHILE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TEND TO FOCUS ON THE IDEA OF A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY. FROM AN ECONOMIC VIEWPOINT, ORGANIZED CRIME SUPPLIES ILLICIT GOODS AND SERVICES TO VOLUNTARY CONSUMERS AND MAY USE THESE PROFITS TO FINANCE CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES OR MONOPOLIZE LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES. SOCIAL SCIENTISTS SEE ORGANIZED CRIME AS AN AMERICAN SOCIAL PHENOMENON WHICH ACTS AS A LADDER OF SOCIAL MOBILITY FOR MINORITY ETHNIC GROUPS, BUT HAS ROOTS IN FRONTIER SOCIETY AND THE ROBBER BARONS OF THE LATE NINTEENTH CENTURY. LARGELY BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS AND MEDIA COVERAGE, THE MAFIA HAS BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH ORGANIZED CRIME TO THE PUBLIC. NO ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN MADE BY RESEARCHERS TO EXAMINE BOTH THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS AND BENEFITS OF ORGANIZED CRIME, BUT LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS HAVE INSTEAD COLLECTED DATA ON THE LIVES AND OPERATING TACTICS OF THE PRODUCERS AND DISTRIBUTORS. THIS PERSPECTIVE MUST BE COMBINED WITH AN ANALYSIS OF MARKET FORCES AND OTHER FACTORS WHICH HAVE RESULTED IN PARTICULAR BUSINESS PATTERNS CHARACTERISTIC OF ORGANIZED CRIME. EXACT MONITORING OF THE LEVELS OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY GENERATED BY ORGANIZED CRIME IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT INFORMATION ON SUCH ELEMENTS AS NUMBERS OF FIRMS, COMPETITION, INVESTMENT CAPITAL, AND RATES OF RETURN CAN BE COMPILED AND THEN USED TO DEVELOP PREDICTIVE MODELS. CONFLICTS EXIST BETWEEN SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC THEORISTS BECAUSE THE LATTER IGNORE SOCIAL PROBLEMS SUCH AS DRUG ADDICTION, GAMBLING, AND PROSTITUTION WHICH ARE EXACERBATED BY ORGANIZED CRIME. THIS CONFLICT REDUCES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PROGRAMS TO COMBAT CRIME. FOR EXAMPLE, THE LEGITIMIZATION OF GAMBLING MAY HAVE SIMPLY ATTRACTED NEW CUSTOMERS TO GAMBLING RATHER THAN WRING AWAY THE PRESENT CLIENTS OF ORGANIZED CRIME. THE LONGSTANDING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CORRUPT POLITICAL MACHINES OF AMERICAN CITIES AND ORGANIZED CRIME HAS BEEN CRUCIAL TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND SURVIVAL OF CRIMINAL ASSOCIATIONS. POLICY ALTERNATIVES TO PROSECUTION OF KNOWN CRIMINAL FIGURES HAVE CONCENTRATED ON LEGITMIZATION AND PROGRAMS TO ERODE COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR ORGANIZED CRIME. HOWEVER, A CONVERGENCE APPROACH IS NEEDED TO LOOK AT THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIOPOLITICAL PATTERNS WHICH CORRELATE THE PUBLIC DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL SERVICES, THE ORGANIZATIONS WHICH SUPPLY THESE SERVICES, AND THE CORRUPT PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO PROTECT THE CRIMINALS. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Organized crime; Organized crime prevention
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69341

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