Sample Research Paper on Organized Crime

Organized crime is one of the greatest threats to American communities’ social order, and
the pluralistic nature of the society has exposed the society to a web of international and
domestic criminal groups with highly centralized enterprise structures engaging in illegal
activities that generate a form of income or profit for them. Traditionally, organized crime
mainly dominated narcotics and human trafficking, but over the years especially in the last
century, organized gangs evolved to handle money laundering, firearms, and all forms illegal
business. Several scholarly works have conducted several studies into understanding Organized
crime in the United States. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, these associations
perpetuate to carry out operations in pursuit of power, influence, and money and vary in their
hierarchy structures.
Notably, they bear an insular characteristic and advance their interests and agenda
through corruption, trans-boundary commerce, encrypted communication networks and a
complex structural hierarchy in their chain of command. Although, there is no consensus of
definition on the term “Organized crime”, the underlying similarity is the existence a group,
rationally organized for profit through engaging in illegal activity. This paper will explore
organized crime in a globalized world of commerce and different distribution channels for
supply of illegal goods by these organizations. It will create a framework of how the Organized
Crime responds to changes in transnational crime regulation and adapt for survival in the modern

Case Summary
Organized crime is a highly complex network of individuals working towards achieving a
common goal of profit in selling certain goods and services in a manner that is illegal. Notably,
they use means of violence and intimidation tactics to exert their influence in their areas of
operations. The fact that the nature of their business is mainly in illegal goods demands that their
communication networks are very secretive in nature and involve a lot of bloodsheds. They deal
with goods ranging from guns to human trafficking for slaves. The following peer-reviewed
scholarly articles look into how organized crime is rapidly evolving in a highly globalized setting
by looking into the following key elements:
i. Organized Crime in America today.
ii. Common Scholarly Definitions of Organized Crime t
iii. The emergence of Criminal Gangs in Communities
iv. Theories explaining the emergence of the groups
v. Responses to deter Organized Crime by enforcement agencies
vi. The Structural organization of criminal groups
vii. How criminal gangs generate income.

ALBANESE, J. S. (2000). The Causes of Organized Crime: Do Criminals Organize Around
Opportunities for Crime or Do Criminal Opportunities Create New Offenders? Journal of
Contemporary Criminal Justice, 16(4), 409-423. doi:10.1177/1043986200016004004
According to Albanese Organized crime is a broad concept that defines a group of
individuals organized in an identity of an organization that mainly operates for profit using
violent means to conduct their business and apply bribery and corruption to stay immune from
the law. In a nutshell, any organized unit to carry out activities motivated by profits using illegal
means fits the definition of organized crime. Traditionally, the authors define cultural ties of a
particular group like the Russian Mafia may cause the formation of a group to further the
interests of that group. Central to his argument is the existence of a collective identity of
ethnicity( Italian mob) or nature of the activity (Narcotics) or geographic location( Prison gangs)
or means of transport ( Motorcycle gangs) that form the basis of the formation. Also, these
criminal gangs are created to achieve a particular goal that generates some profits or control over
an individual product in a monopolistic manner. Also, there is an ethnographic connection of
Organized crime to market demands for certain goods or services. Criminal activities may not
necessarily be for a single goal but may shift over time guided by demand and prices of certain
products. Conclusively, organized crime is as a result of the existence of opportunity factors, the
presence of a criminal environment and the groups’ possession of skills to carry out the crimes.

Finckenauer, J. O. (2005). Problems of definition: What is organized crime? Trends in Organized
Crime, 8(3), 63-83. doi:10.1007/s12117-005-1038-4

Scholarly definitions of “organized crime have been a paradox between scholars and have
played an in important role into how sound approaches into how investigators and prosecutors
conduct their activities regarding organized crime. Finckenauer argues that the absence of a
shared understanding of what constitutes to organized crime affects research studies on the issue
and how legal jurisdictions convict criminals involved in organized crime. Additionally, public
perceptions on the definitions are not substantially determined to render public policies and
resources insufficient to counter the adverse effects of organized crime in society. The author
argues that the most important aspect to address the definition crises is to create a public
understanding of the characteristics of criminal activities that amount to organized crime as
opposed to a similarity in the concept of the type of crimes.
Under U.S. Public Law, organized crime is captured in the Omnibus Crime Control and
Safe Streets Act, 1968 in organizational dimension. However, it is a vague definition, and the
author stipulates that an inclusion of specific types of crimes that associate with these
organizations is imminent. The article suggests an identity of organized crime about the level of
sophistication of certain offenses, an authoritative structural framework with a defined division
of labor existing among the membership who identifies with a particular identity that involves a
crime. Also, criminal organizations must possess a capacity to intimidate or instill fear among a
significant section of a group in society. Any criminal gang that has these characteristics fall
short of the definition of a criminal organization according to this author.

Fox, K. A., Lane, J., & Akers, R. L. (2010). Do perceptions of neighborhood disorganization
predict crime or victimization? An examination of gang member versus non-gang

member jail inmates. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(4), 720-729.
The author of this article critically examines the emergence of criminal gangs and the
existing state of social order. In fact, the journal establishes the relationship that exists between
social disorder, where the systems put in place to create order in a given setting of society fail
there is more likely hood that there will emerge an organized crime gang to capitalize on the
opportunity presented by the ailing systems. The authors analyze survey data from prisons to
hypothesize the fact that where the socio-political systems are non-existence or ineffective to
provide a state of order, there is more likelihood that such an environment breeds the ground for
organized criminal groups to form and thrive. Many sociologists, in theory, agree that rapid
urbanization of cities across the United States has resulted to the existence of a new spectrum
where the ecological community control by law enforcement agencies is low or even non-
existence. Additionally, intercommunity friendship networks that are born out of unsupervised
peer groups eventually mature into organized crime gangs with a deep sense of loyalty among
itself and membership. Also, there is the social disorganization occurs, there is a tendency of
crime victimization go up, and organized crime emerge, as small scattered units at first, but later
as stable gangs that are powerful and influential in society.

Gilmour, S., & France, R. (n.d.). Local Policing and Transnational Organized Crime. Routledge
Handbook of Transnational Organized Crime. doi:10.4324/9780203698341.ch31
The article discusses the crime management model in regards to how geographical
limitations of enforcement agencies affect and the policing approaches that an agency may be

adopted to counter transnational organized crime. Transnational crime, in the studies cab, be
adequately controlled by the policing organization establishing transnational frameworks that
deal with criminal gangs in various countries. The best and most practical approaches include:
Intelligence-led policing, Problem-based policing and Objective-based policing all formed on the
principle of subsidiary. According to Gilmour, linking of police activities to the three approaches
can significantly break the criminal chains of the organized crime while still maintaining the
advantages of complex police model. Conclusively, the authors propose a consideration of an
Intelligent fact-based solution based programs that focus on the crime continuum at the
grassroots level with an emphasis on the threat, harm, and risk of organized crime across borders
of the countries affected.

Wing Lo, T., & Kwok, S. I. (2012). Traditional Organized Crime in the Modern World: How
Triad Societies Respond to Socioeconomic Change. Studies of Organized Crime, 67-89.
In this article, the author looks into how modern organized crime continues to adopt
structural reforms to counter the tremendous efforts made at all levels of its operations. In fact,
organized crime is evolving with the global forces of large-scale population migration and the
emergence of multinational businesses and financial corporations. New Modern world organized
crime have multiple structural frameworks spread across the world. For, example, The Chinese
Triads have increasingly expanded into the US markets with a well-established chain of
command. Additionally, there has been a new tendency between criminal groups forming
partnerships to exploit new market opportunities for illegal goods especially like after the fall of

the Soviet Union or the American bomb attacks in 9/11. The author explores the financial and
security burden that this new form organized crime poses on the populations of where it exists.

Skaperdas, S. (2003). The political economy of organized crime: providing protection when the
state does not. Conflict and Governance, 163-192. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-05121-4_10
Organized crime, according to this article exists to fill in power in the control of an
important aspect a certain community and as a result, have huge economic benefits typically
which are much higher than the normal levels. The author explores the various activities that
criminal gangs engage in to raise income ranging from money laundering, drug trafficking,
human trafficking and sale high tech illegal firearms.
In conclusion, as the peer-reviewed article in this bibliography show, Organized crime is
one the growing threats to social order in the contemporary urban setting. The groups are ruthless
and well organized in their operations. The identity of these criminal elements have evolved with
globalizations, and today, they are spread across all continent bearing various identities and
doing all kinds of illegal activities. To effectively control, the increasing power they are
accumulating, it will become essential for the international agency response task force to break
the transnational chains of these organized crime groups.