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Organized Crime High School - Essay Example

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Knowing its structure and operation could spell the difference between life and death both for those who are meant to put them down and to those who may be their unfortunate targets or victims. Proactively defending against them, or courageously advocating and fighting against them require a broad understanding of their inner workings.
Websters-online-dictionary defines organized crime as "underworld organization". It further defines underworld as "criminal class". These definitions presupposed a definite group of people within but underneath the class structure of society who are formed into organizations engaged in unlawful activities.
A more detailed and definite definition of organized crime, however, has become problematic because of their variety and diversity (Lampe). Lampe collected over 100 definitions one among is that by Albanese which attempted to summarize three decades of literature into the following definition: "Organized crime is a continuing criminal enterprise that rationally works to profit from illicit activities; its continuing existence is maintained through the use of force, threats, monopoly control, and/or the corruption of public officials." (Lampe, Albanese, 2000: 411).
Other elements of organized crime are," hierarchical associations . . . ...
(Lampe, United Nations 1975, 8)

Organized crime as a worldwide phenomenon
An overview of organized crime and its structure as a worldwide phenomenon can be gleaned from a paper on the Russian organized crime around the world presented by Margaret E. Beare. She cited the three-legged tripod depiction of organized crime by the Canadian police as "being like a three-legged tripod" consisting of "the bureaucracy including politicians and security officials, underground business persons, and the professional criminals". And the merging of this three into one entity makes them a formidable enemy of the law.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, however, reports the more flexible and diversified structure of organized crime groups. Mentioned was made of South-East European groups characterized by "wide range of structures, ranging from hierarchical to horizontal, both with cell-lie structures and loose networks" and Chinese groups which are "structurally quite complex and diverse" . The Japanese Yakusa which is considered one of the largest in the world has roles that suggest hierarchical structures. The kaicho acts as boss with complete authority, and he has under him wakato (deputy or captain) and wakai shu or soldiers as ordinary members.

Organizational Structure of Crime Groups
With the complexity in the phenomenon of organized crime groups worldwide and even in the United States alone, a more rational approach towards understanding the structure of crime groups is to slice from this complexity and focus on more particular crime group. This paper will therefore focus on Mafia, La Costa Nostra.

Brief History and Background of Mafia

According to The Mafia Site, the mafia is a ...Show more
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Virtually every modern society faces the problem of organized crime. Enmeshed, like a poison ivy, underneath the fabric of the modern world, it stings irritably; or like a parasite within, it sucks up the economic resources of individuals, businesses and institutions…
Organized Crime High School Essay
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