Controlling Organized Crime
Controlling Organized Crime Paper Celia King CJA/384 February 25, 2013 Angela Morrison Controlling Organized Crime Paper Throughout United States history, organized crime has been a huge issue with law enforcement and the rest of society. Organized crime dates back to the 19th century with the Irish Mob being the first group to run the streets of America (Lyman, Potter, 2007). Since then, there have been many other groups that have imitated this type of organized crime, starting with the Mafia to ordinary street gangs; however, people involved in organized crime do not only consist of those in gangs or mobs.
We can see a great example by looking at those involved with the fraud and mismanagement of funds through Fannie May and Freddie Mac. I guess the question that still remains since the 19th century is “how would one control organized crime? ’ Throughout this paper, there is detailed information identifying the problems presented and the various relationships established by organized crime. There is also a description of the legal limitations associated with combating organized crime, including a critique of major federal laws and strategies that support this effort.
To sum up the information provided throughout this paper, I will suggest a realistic solution to control organized crime by discussing and evaluating the effectiveness of organized crime prosecutions. When trying to identify the problems presented and the various relationships established by organized crime it is important to begin with some speculative and empirical theories that I feel relate most to why people decide to take part in organized crime. One of the theories that I believe relates best to most criminal behavior is the relative deprivation theory.
This particular theory states that the inequality between communities where the poor and the rich live in close proximity to one another creates a general feeling of anger, hostility, and social injustice on the part of inner-city inhabitants (Lyman, Potter, 2007). This theory gains validity when we look at cities like Chicago, Detroit, and New York, and we witness some of the underprivileged youth take out their frustrations through violence, anger and robbery on their well to do neighbors in the surrounding suburban areas.
Another theory that I believe relates to this reasoning for criminal behavior is the differential opportunity theory. This theory states that many lower-class male adolescents experience a sense of desperation surrounding the belief that their position in the economic structure is relatively fixed and immutable (Lyman, Potter, 2007). With these individuals believing that their fate is fixed and that they will never be able to prosper financially, leading a life in organized crime is virtually impossible.
When law enforcement tries to combat organized crime, they are faced will a great deal of legal limitations. Detection of these intricate operations is sometimes difficult to detect due to the somewhat legitimate businesses that are the face of their operations. When it comes to prosecuting these criminals, it tends to be a bit difficult due to how advanced some of these well thought out organizations operate. Nonetheless, because these organizations are so good at concealing their criminal behavior, it is very difficult for law enforcement to infiltrate these operations and secure prosecution.
When either state or federal law enforcement is trying to prosecute these organized crime groups, one major key of their prosecution is usually some sort of witness. Unfortunately, in many of the high profile organized crime groups, witnesses are hard to come by. In these cases, witnesses are either terrified to testify against members of the organized crime group or they are being completely loyal to these individuals. This particular scenario occurs when the organized crime groups treat their local community well. We can see a great example of this by looking back to the 1980s when the notorious John Gotti ran the streets of New York City.
When Gotti roamed the streets, he was a very dangerous and violent person; however, because of the way he gave back to his local community, throwing lavish block parties, many citizens saw him as their town hero (Bio True Story, n. d. ). In the 70’s, the federal government passed the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) act that they hoped would help them bring these elusive individuals to justice. If an individual is convicted of charges found in the RICO act, the can face hefty fines and a life sentence.
The problem with the RICO act is that it can be difficult to gain adequate evidence to prosecute the individuals being charged. John “The Teflon Don” Gotti received his nick name for this very reason. He was prosecuted on three separate occasions before he was finally convicted. Nonetheless, because they finally captured The Teflon Don, it does not mean that they stopped the illegal activities of their operation. This operation, as well as every other organized crime group, can only function properly with the help of a large amount of “little people” or foot soldiers.
I believe in order to bring an organization like this to its knees; we need to begin with these individuals. In fact, according to the theories that I mentioned previously, these individuals are drawn to this kind of life style because of a lack of legitimate opportunities. With the national unemployment rate being where it is currently, we will continue to see a great deal of individuals flocking to this type of employment. However, if we can create more jobs for these individuals to obtain, maybe we can make it harder for these organized crime groups to find recruitments.
In conclusion, I have provided detailed information identifying the problems presented and the various relationships established by organized crime, while giving a description of the legal limitations associated with combating organized crime, including a critique of major federal laws and strategies that support this effort. To conclude the information that was provided throughout this paper, I suggested a realistic solution to control organized crime by discussing and evaluating the effectiveness of organized crime prosecutions.
As I stated previously, organized crime has been in existence since the 19th century. Do I believe that my solution will bring organized crime to its knees? No; but I do believe that if we do not continue to try and find solutions to this growing issue, then we have lost the battle long before it ever began. Reference Page Lyman, M. D. , & Potter, G. W. (2007). Organized crime (4th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Bio True Story, (n. d. ) Mobsters, John Gotti. Retrieved from: http://www. biography. com/tv/mobsters/videos/john-gotti-preview-2087074288