Definition of Organized Crime with the Robber Barons

September 14, 2017 | Author: Arvin Kim Arnilla | Category: Organized Crime, John D. Rockefeller, Crimes, Crime & Justice, Deviance (Sociology)
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Summarizes the various definitions of Organized Crime. Towards the end, the history of robber barons in the U.S. was als...


Definition of Organized Crime

Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Source: Michael D. Lyman and Gary W. Potter

mn organized crime is any crime committed by a person occupying, in an established division of labor, a position designed for the commission of crime providing that such division of labor includes at least one position for a corrupter, one position for an enforcer . Donald Cressey

—roup activities of three or more persons, with hierarchical links or personal relationship, which permit their leaders to earn profits or control territories or markets, internal or foreign, means of violence, intimidation or corruption, both in furtherance of criminal and to infiltrate the legitimate economy activity. ëWarsaw Conference)

mn organized criminal group shall mean a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more crimes or offences established in accordance with this, in order to Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit. ë             

Organized crime is a nonideological enterprise involving a number of persons in close social interaction, organized on a hierarchical basis, with at least three levels/ranks, for the purpose of securing profit and power by engaging in illegal and legal activities. Source: Howard Abadinski

Organized crime is crime committed by structured groups typically involving the provision of illegal goods and services to others. ëAndersen & Taylor, 2007: 168)

Organized crime « ´a society that seeks to operate outside the control of the mmerican people and their government. It involves thousands of criminal, working with-in structures as large as those of any corporation Source: U.S. Presidents· Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, 1967

Organized crime includes the unlawful activities of the members of a highly organized, disciplined association engaged in supplying illegal goods and services including but not limited to gambling, prostitution, loansharking, narcotics, labor racketeering, and other lawful activities

Source: Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, 1968

Organized crime: The unlawful activity of an association trafficking in illegal goods or services, including but not limited to gambling, prostitution, loansharking, controlled substances, labor racketings, or other unlawful activities or any continuing criminal conspiracy or other unlawful practice which has as its objective large economic gain through the fraudulent or coercive practices or improper government influence. Source: Pennsylvania Crime Commission, 1978

      1. Non-ideological or no political goals 2. Hierarchical 3. Limited or exclusive membership 4. Self ² perpetuating ë   5. Uses illegal violence and bribery 6. Demonstrates specific division of labor 7. Monopolistic 8. Governed by explicit rules and regulations ë     


1. Provision of Illicit Services ã     not provided by legitimate businesses and denounced by law Ex.: Illegal gambling operations      ² form of extortion by which OC members approach owners of small businesses and offer them ´protection in case of ´unforeseen misfortune

i  ² illegal lending of money at usurious rates, whose repayment is enforces through violence and intimidation

  ² sale of sex acts by persons acting as part of a larger organization

2. Provision of Illicit Goods ã    - vice ² related commodities which are not available in legitimate society Ex.: marijuana, cocaine and heroine Ex.: pornography Ex.: unregistered gun and stolen goods

3. Conspiracy ?   - agreement between two or more people to violate the law

4. Penetration of Legitimate Business Hiding of illicit profits behind a cloak of legitimacy through legitimate businesses.

5. Extortion    a form of theft and is defined as the use or threatened use of violence or force to achieve a criminal end.

6. Corruption ?

 - surreptitious aid of public and private figured such as law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, mayors bankers, attorneys, accountants, and elected and appointed political persons at all levels of government.


`ureaucratic/ Corporate Model åComplicate hierarchy åExtensive division of labor åPositions assigned on the basis of skill åResponsibilities carried out in an impersonal manner åExtensive written rules and regulation åCommunication from the top of the hierarchy to person on the bottom, usually in written ëmemo) form

!atrimonial/ patron ² client Networks åPatrimonial organization is a characteristic of traditional societies that center around families, patron and their clients, and other personalistic networks. åEmphasis on traditional rituals that demonstrate the emotional bonds among men Maffiosi: friends of friends

Theories Explaining Organized Crime

. mnomie Strain 2. Differential mssociation Theory 3. Subcultures and Social Disorganization 4. Differential Opportunity 5. Social Control Theory 6. Ethnic Succession

   å Proponent: ‰ !taking cue from Emile Durkheim·s Anomie Theory åExplained Organized Crime ëOC) as a normal response to pressures exerted on certain persons by the social structure åPathological materialism ² American preoccupation with economic success ë    : rush to prosperity)

åMerton: Americans emphasized the GOAL rather than the MEANS åMerton: Anomie results when numbers of people are confronted by the contradiction between goals and means and become estranged from a society that promises them in principle what they are deprived of in reality


"  # åProponent: Edwin Sutherland å All behavior ² lawful and criminal ² are learned åLearning occurs within intimate personal groups åLearning depends on the intensity frequency, and duration of the association

åMore criminality, more chances of becoming a criminal åSome person, thru differential association, organize their behavior according to the norms of a delinquent or criminal group to which they belong or with which they identify

ß "  "       

å Culture refers to a source of patterning in human conduct: it is the sum of patterns of social relationships and hared meanings by which people give order, expression, and value to common experiences

å Subculture implies that there are value judgments or social value system which is apart from a larger or central value system å Subculture are pattern of values, and behavior, norms which have become traditional among certain groups

Ö   $$ ## å Proponent: Richard Cloward and Lloward Ohlin å illegitimate opportunity for success, like legitimate opportunity, is not equally distributed throughout society and access to criminal ladders of success are more freely available than are noncriminal alternative.

å American preoccupation with economic success, coupled with socioeconomic stratification, relegates many persons to an environment wherein they experience strain

å Many lower ² class male adolescents experience extreme deprivation born of the certainty that their position in the economic structure is relatively fixed and immutable ² a desperation made all the more poignant by their exposure to a cultural ideology in which failure to orient oneself upward is regarded as a moral defect and failure to become mobile as proof of it.µ

#$ "   $   1. Retreatist subculture: Activities in which drug usage is the primary focus; the anomic condition leads the sufferer to reject the goal of economic success in favor of a more easily obtainable one ² the ´highµ

2. Conflict subculture: Gang activities devoted to violence and destructive acting out as a way of gaining status. As with retreatist, the anomic condition leads to a rejection of economic success in favor of a more easily obtainable goal.

3. Criminal/ rackets subculture: Gang activtiy devoted to utilitarian criminal pursuits, an adaptation that begins to approximate Organized Crime

 " #

å %$& Travis Hirschi "  " refers to those processes by which the community influences its members toward the conformance with established norms of behavior    & delinquent acts result when an individual·s bond to society is weak or brokenµ

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 Theory: Each successive immigrant group experienced strain to which some members reacted by innovating in accord with a tradition that had been established by earlier American entrepreneurs

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Anomie Strain

Robert K. Merton

Strain between societal expectations for success and limited opportunity drive cause certain persons to innovate in the form of Organized Crime- queer ladder of social mobility

Differential Association Theory ëDAT

Edwin Sutherland

All behavior ² lawful and criminal ² is learned in intimate personal groups, whereas learning the techniques of sophisticated criminality requires proper the environment Continued«

"    Subcultures and Social Disorganization

Criminal behavior is learned; subcultural delinquent has learned values that are deviant in an environment characterized by social disorganization. In these defended neighborhoods, inhabitants form cohesive groupings, sealing themselves off through the efforts of delinquent gangs and a forbidding reputation. Such neighborhoods have traditionally provided the recruiting grounds that ensure the continuity of organized crime. Continued«

   * Differential Opportunity Theory ëDOT)

Richard Cloward & Lloyd Ohlin

Illegitimate opportunity for success, like legitimate opportunity, is not equally distributed throughout society and access to criminal ladders of success are no more freely available than are noncriminal alternative

Social Control Theory

Travis Hirschi

Delinquent acts result when an individuals bond to society is weak or broken and the strength of this bond is determined by internal and external restraints.

Ethnic succession

OC provides a ´queer ladder to success ion for disadvantaged groups who eventually leave OC making way for the next wave.

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