Controlling Organized Crime
Controlling Organized Crime CJA/393 Criminal Organizations June 1, 2010 Controlling Organized Crime In this paper, I will identify the problems presented and the various relationships established by organized crime. I will also describe the legal limitations associated with combating organized crime, and include a critique of major federal laws and strategies that support this effort. Lastly, I will suggest a solution to control organized crime by discussing and evaluating the effectiveness of organized crime prosecutions.
The organized crime legal definition is defined as a widespread group of professional criminals, who rely on illegal activities as a way of life and whose activities are coordinated and controlled through some form of centralized syndicate (Webster’s, 2010). We just have to remember the definition of organized crime is different from state to state, agency to agency, and from federal to state. Finding one specific definition to work for all might be somewhat difficult; because the definition is based on whom, what, or where one might be referring to.
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Trying to control organized crime is plainly much easier said than done. During the last 100 years, the development of organized crime has changed, as well as the move toward controlling it. For example, let’s look at the past crime families from many years ago, and place them in retrospect of them being pawns in the most famous game of chess. These old families may not be considered a big threat anymore, and definitely do not present any fear in any of their neighborhoods. In comparison to the early 1920’s, the repression of organized crime has developed into a science.
However, I do believe organized crime can originate from ones background, the environment or location, type of personnel, and the number of personnel involved. There have been many theories used in every attempt to combat organized crime. Organized crime prospers in the deprived urban neighborhoods, where the hope for any successful business and unemployment rates are extremely low. These groups will move into an area, and portray themselves as modern day Robin Hood’s for the area. This would be the time when the criminal haracteristic comes into play, because the groups would provide things the neighborhood people would have never seen or possessed. They provide jobs for people, which in most cases would be considered as illegal. The neighborhoods look forward to the goods they make available, and the protection that is provided. With these provisions, the groups will maintain a high social status rate within the neighborhoods. Once the groups have managed to implant themselves into the neighborhoods and surrounding communities, they then develop a strong association with the local government.
These groups think by getting in good with the city officials and local law enforcement, that it becomes smooth sailing from then on. It was known to happen that way, until certain groups got greedy, which triggered and led to the largest FBI investigation in history. The investigation was caused by illegal drugs, alcohol, gambling, and prostitution; which eventually caused the collapse of the empirical crime families. Empirical theories in case of organized crime include political science, law enforcement and international relations.
Speculative theory includes the conspiracy approach o organized crime. In case of empirical theories organized crime is attempted to be resolved through the efforts of politicians who are responsible for the welfare of the society. Then law framing agencies are expected to look into the legislations where in there are strict laws against groups of criminals including anti-terrorism and anti-smuggling laws. These are extremely essential for resolving a number of problems and also for punishing criminals.
Organized crime is a threat not just to a single nation but to the global economy. Hence a number of agencies and international conferences bring the world together against organized crime. This unification is possible only through international relations and helps fight against terrorism, smuggling and other forms of organized crime. There have been many theories pertaining to the groups, trying to identify why the groups function the way they do. Some of the known theories consist of the enterprise theories, conspiracy theories, social theories, and anomie theories.
Some of the most well-known sociologist and criminal psychologist have tried to uncover the way of thinking with the crime groups. In my viewpoint, when the groups are in it for the money, I would consider it to be an enterprise theory. The main idea for these groups was getting rich and not including the actual labor associated with working. Over the years, the agencies that battle against these organized crime groups, have come across constant struggles trying to take down the leaders at the top. These agencies include the FBI, U. S. Marshals, DEA, ATF, and a multitude of other state agencies.
There are many who have loss their lives in the fight against organized crime. An ATF agent named Billy Queen sacrificed nearly 4 years of his livelihood, while infiltrating the motorcycle gang known as the Mongols. During the process, agent Billy Queen literally loss his own kids. The infiltration lasted up to the point to where the funds were about to be withdrawn, however, agent Queen persuaded his leadership to push forward. With his determination, he was successful in taking down a group that was considered one of the most vicious groups of that period.
I believe that when it comes to law enforcement, the strict limitations and guidelines need to be relaxed more. These limitations are put on the officer’s by the very ones they protect. It’s the Constitutional self-conscience ones who are more concerned about the criminal instead of the crime. So, if you don’t have anything to hide, why would you be afraid to allow law enforcement in your home or business? WE must come to realize that with a change in the scope of crimes, there will also be a change in the apprehension scope as well.
After the events of 9/11 in New York, there was no hesitation in passing the Patriot Act. Once this bill was introduced, there was absolutely no debate from any Senators or House members. I believe the same thing needs to occur with organized crime. We have closed our eyes and ears, and turned our backs to this issue long enough. It’s been almost 100 years, and we need to be more proactive and less reactive. If all the agencies are known to always be reactive, then no one gets caught until the crime is actually done.
I believe that the more proactive we are in pursuing these groups, the better chance we have at taking them down, before things would really get out of hand. The creation of the RICO Act, which means Racketeer and Influenced Corrupt Organization, is another means of trying to get a strong hold on organized crime. This act enables the agencies to arrest several individuals on one crime. That used to always be a problem, because the agencies could never reach the main leaders within an organization. In order for all guilty parties to be arrested, this created what is called an umbrella effect.
Many may think that organized crime starts on any given street corner. However, the organization actually starts with a very close knit group which consists of businessmen. I believe there are many ways of which we can assist with this increasing issue. One way, would be for the communities to assist in keeping the unemployment rate as low as we possibly can. It has been proven throughout the years, that the areas which have the lowest rates of unemployment are the areas with the lowest crime rates (UCR, 2010).
We should always be reminded that organized crime does not function well within a socially strong community. Therefore, it would only leave us to belief that it only thrives off social disorganization. Organized crime groups and criminals just do not like controversy, but instead, they want everything to come easy as pie. That would be the main reason they choose the communities that are easy and vulnerable. It is a proven fact that the most important thing any team, group, or business needs, is a true strong leader. In having a strong leader, it allows so many groups to fall into the realm of organized crime.
As history has played out throughout the years, the organized crime groups have had some very powerful men that have been in the leadership role. Many strong leader of organized crime have become icons in history. In order for law enforcement to get a strong hold on the organized crime world, they must first get to the main source that makes it functional. If you chop off the head of snake from the rest of its body, all of it will eventually die. In conclusion, I have identified the problems presented and the various relationships established by organized crime.