Sociology Index

Organized Crime

Political Crime, Corporate Crime, Occupational Crime, Conventional Crime, Organizational Crime

Organized crime is a non-ideological enterprise involving many in close social interaction and organized in a hierarchy, with levels or ranks, for the specific purpose of securing profit and power. Organized crime is done by engaging in illegal and legal activities. In organized crime membership is restricted, although nonmembers may be involved when the need arises. In organized crime, rules are enforced by sanctions that could include murder. In organized crime, positions in the hierarchy are assigned on the basis of kinship structure or friendship, or according to skill. Members strive to keep the enterprise integral and active in pursuit of its goals. Organized crime eschews competition and strives for monopoly on an industry or territorial basis. In organized crime there is a also use of violence and bribery to achieve ends or to maintain discipline.

Organized Crime Research
Selected Definitions of Organized Crime
: The most primary distinguishing component of organized crime is found within the term organized crime itself, that is, organization. Interaction is a key concept in organized crime. Just the aggregation of individuals performing a criminal act in the presence of one another would not constitute an organized crime. Organization, then, is the basic distinguishing element between organized crime and other types of crime. Organized crime is any criminal activity involving two or more individuals encompassing some form of social structure and leadership. There are many forms which organized crime can take. Organized crime is criminal activities, such as prostitution, illegal gambling or interstate theft that occur within centrally controlled formal structure.

Beirne and Messerschmidt
The core of syndicated crime is commonly referred to as organized crime, which is the provision of illegal goods and services in a society. Organized crime has a structure that makes it possible to provide illegal goods and services to the society on a regular basis. Organized crime includes illegal drug distribution, illegal prostitution and money laundering. Organized crime system is composed of relationships binding professional criminals, politicians, law enforcers, and various entrepreneurs. Organized crime definititon demands three distinct entities functioning for some illicit purpose. Problem lies in the need to explain what are clearly organized crimes in which the personnel do not fulfill all the criteria.

California Control of Profits of OC Act
Organized Crime means crime which is of a conspiratorial nature and that is either of an organized nature and which seeks to supply illegal goods and services such as narcotics, prostitution, loan sharking, gambling, and pornography, or that, through planning and coordination of individual efforts, seeks to conduct the illegal activities of arson for profit, hijacking, insurance fraud, smuggling, operating vehicle theft rings, or systematically encumbering the assets of a business for the purpose of defrauding creditors.