The most used one is mafia, which is a term from Sicily meaning a secret criminal society (Nicaso & Danesi, 2013). Organized crime has made a huge impact in the history of the United States. The effects of organized crime impacted the society culturally, morally, financially, governmentally. Culture is a huge part of organized crime. Nicaso and Danesi (2013) stated that culture can be described as a set of codes that provide guidelines on conduct and interactions.
The mafia tended to be Italian-Americans, whose family had migrated to America looking for a new start in life and a shot at gaining a fortune. The mafia was spread across the whole of America with ‘mob bosses’ in all the major cities, to name a few there was Dutch Schultz in New York, Chester La Mere in Detroit and the infamous Al Capone in Chicago. These ‘mob bosses’ had their cities wrapped around their thumbs; they could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, as they had control over the police and local governments. The mafia however, wasn’t just groups of rival gangs fighting each other. The mafia had split the U.S.A. into separate territories, with one gang controlling each territory, but there was always internal conflict going on throughout these territories, with mob bosses being deposed and replaced all the time.
In the 18th Century, gang problem became worse as the new generation of immigrants continue to enter the United States. During this time, Irish gangs like Whyos, Dead Rabbits and Plug Uglies and Jewish gangs like the Monk Eastman Gang brought terror in New York City streets (Lou Savelli, 2001). In the 19th Century, the most notorious gang was formed – the Five Points Gang. One of the most notorious members of the Five Points Gang was a young boy of Italian descent in the name of Alphonse Capone also known as Scarface. His whole life was an illustration of the power and influence of organized crime in the United States during the 19th Century (“Al Capone”).
Rarely seeing their wives and children, their lands were farmed by slaves, leaving them free to pursue to the arts of war. Beneath this highest was a middle class, called the Perioeci. Made up of farmers and artisans who were the descendants of those peoples whom the Spartans had first conquered, the Perioeci paid taxes and could serve in the army, but had no real political rights. At the bottom were the helots: a slave class descended from those peoples who had resisted subjugation by Sparta. Because the helots were constantly rebelling, the Spartans attempted to control them by forming a secret a society that annually murdered any helot suspected of encouraging subversion.
The Aryan Brotherhood is chiefly concerned with White-Supremacy and self-protection from Black and Hispanic gangs. Indeed, many rivalries have existed between the Aryan Brotherhood and other African-American gangs. However there is an exception they commonly have an ally of the Hispanic background known as “The Mexican Mafia”, they unite under common ground to eliminate “The Black Guerrilla Family”, also known as the Black Family or the Black Vanguard. Members of the AB are almost always found with a sort of brand or tattoo to symbolize there alliance. They can often be seen displaying symbols such as Nazi Sig Runes, Swastikas, Lightning bolts, the shamrock (as a symbol of their originally Irish membership), the Nordic dagger on shield with lightning bolts, and a falcon relating to Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army.
“It was the mafias that emerged with the highest profile and helped spur numerous acts of Congress to help law enforcers deal with the threat” (Random History, 2008). During the first half of the twentieth century, law enforcement was obligated to often ignore the illicit activities of organized crime in fear of threat of retaliation, personal investment, or political pressure. Also during the twentieth century, flocks of Italian immigrants had started to fill voids at the lowest rung of the economic ladder, and arranged themselves into “families” in large cities (Random History, 2008). Attributes of organized crime may include limited and exclusive membership, hierarchical, lack of ideology or political goals, governing by explicit rules and regulations, and constituting a unique substructure (Lyman & Potter, 2007). Two main types of structured crime groups are the Bureaucratic organization and the Patron-Client organization.
Gangsters and the Mafia From Sicily, to Chicago, to New York gangsters and the mafia have been a big part of America. Since the 1900’s to present day, gangsters and the mafia have had an amazing impact on American culture, and crime in America. Gangsters and the mafia have had an amazing impact on crime, economy, politics, and even the movie industry. The mafia originated in medieval times when sicily was constantly under attack. The native sicilians started.
Consequently this lead to certain 'families' running and and serving the interests of their own specific community in the surrounding area. The Mafia can be classed as a pre-industrialist peasant institution1 as it was a reaction to the current state of affairs in Sicily as the public were not being treated fairly, therefore it can be argued that the Mafia started off as a primitive social movement, but as it grew in size and power it was transformed into a formidable and international crime syndicate that's main business is selling private protection. I believe that it is more accurate to regard the Sicilian Mafia as a rational response to a business opportunity because in a typical Sicilian Market place a sense of distrust is shared between all the participants. In other words, the buyer and seller both believe that the other is trying to make and unfair amount of money from the other. For example, the buyer believes that the seller is selling him a product or service that will not be up to standard and he is charging too high a price for it.
As a U.S. Department of Justice publication notes, “Their organization was so firmly entrenched before authorities understood the danger confronting them that control of the institution was seriously threatened (Seiter, p. 250). There were initially five major prison gangs which were known as the “Traditional Prison Gangs”. These gangs were initially formed to protect themselves from other inmates and predators. Through the years these gangs have went from self protection to now being known for their viciousness and violence to maintain power and control over other inmates. The Aryan Brotherhood (AB) originated in the San Quintin Prison in 1967.
CJA/384 - CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS Personal Perception of Organized Crime Organized crime today is not just huge in the United States, but is huge in most countries around the world. The media has always portrayed organized crime by showing a large family of Italian descent that controls all crime and takes place in either a neighborhood or a city. Movies like “The Godfather” is actually an ideal example of a family based organized crime. This paper will discusses this writer’s personal perception of organized crime, how this writer’s personal perception compares to the definitions that the reading gives, as well as the characteristics that are associated with organized criminal behavior. When this writer thinks of organized crime, the first description that comes to mind is, that of any group a people, whether of cultural group or different races, that runs and controls a certain area of land that could be as small as a town or as large as a state or region of the country.