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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77671 Find in a Library
Title: Corrupt City
Author(s): P AltmeyerGalen P
Corporate Author: Group W-Westinghouse
United States of America
Project Director: P Galen
Date Published: 1969
Sponsoring Agency: Group W-Westinghouse
Format: Film
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Exposing the devastating legacy of corruption in Reading, Pa., this film reveals how public apathy and dishonest city officials allowed Reading to have been dominated by an organized crime syndicate.
Abstract: The film notes that corruption is the basis of organized crime in the United States and that such crime can flourish only where it has corrupted local officials. Reading has been crippled by organized crime for the past 50 years. Although Reading is now in a period of reform, if the city succumbs to organized crime's enticements again, it will be dead. This viewpoint is substantiated through numerous interviews with former and present city officials, local business people, and ordinary citizens. All of those interviewed relate their experiences with and reflections on 'The Mob.' Thomas McBride, leader of the 'Select Committee on Crime,' and Shane Craemer, head of the Justice Department Task Force in Philadelphia, provide an overview of the Reading situation. McBride notes that a vacuum of leadership exists in Reading, which makes the city very vulnerable to future domination by organized crime. Elected officials note that when they first took office, they were approached by persons who offered them payoffs in return for relaxed law enforcement and favored treatment. These officials are certain that organized crime members are just waiting for the right moment in which to move back into a position of power in Reading. The consequences of organized crime are all negative. Organized crime seeks to nullify government and make it powerless. Besides the moral decay, the economic effects of organized crime domination are staggering. Prior to 1966, the annual profit to organized crime in Reading exceeded $5 million. In conclusion, the film observes that people get the type of government they deserve and that alliances between organized crime and elected officials, which would not be tolerated in most other countries, are far too frequent in the United States. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Audiovisual aids; Corruption of public officials; Crimes against businesses; Criminal infiltration of business; Films; Mob infiltration; Organized crime; Organized crime prevention; Pennsylvania
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. This is a 16mm color film. Its running time is 52 minutes.
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