April 10, 2010
In the anarchic, lawless, and dangerous world of crime, organized crime has constituted a unique subculture in our society and provides a form of credentialing by reputation as well as a lifestyle for various groups of people. Often by use of threats and violence, organized crime facilitates cooperation between criminals with the goal of obtaining money through illegal activities. Criminals are bonded together by a code of trust and silence, which creates a bond of cooperation between criminal groups such as the Mafia (Abadinski 1). Though there is no universally accepted definition of organized crime, the Federal Bureau of Investigation sums up the key points of these criminal networks by stating:
An organized crime is any crime committed by a person occupying, in an established division of labor, a position designed for the commission of crimes providing that such division of labor includes at least one position for a corrupter, one poistion for a corruptee, and one postion for an enforcer. (Abadinski 2)
Many of these groups realize the gain from cooperating with each other rather than competing against each other, and all play a part in the corruption of local businesses, politicians, and the economy present in the United States (fbi.gov). Organized crime’s impact is significant in the realm of criminal justice due to its manipulation and monopolization of financial markets, corruption of legitimate industries, and violent acts used for intimidation in the process of gaining power and money.
Organized crime differs from conventional crime in various different ways. Researchers and law enforcement agencies have identified eight different characteristics specific to organized crime in order to help define what constitutes this type of crime. These attributes also help the law to differentiate between organized crime and terrorism, which are combated by different...