ORGANIZED CRIME and CRIMINAL GANGS are often placed Together in the Same Category, and are Often used Interchangeably as being Identical Terms that Refer to the same thing.
However, that is not really True. There are Real Differences that can Include
such Things as:
- Goals that are Important to Each.
- Methodology in How Criminal Acts are Planned and Carried out.
- The Recruitment of New Members.
- Rules that are put in place to Resolve Internal Problems.
- The Degree to which Media Exposure Affects Policy Decisions.
- The Use of Ritualistic Ceremonies to Bind All Members Together.
These Differences, Historically, are Sometimes Indicative of the Relative
Success of Each.
GANGS are Traditionally a much Looser Collection of Individuals, who Team Up to Commit Criminal Acts, but usually don't have any formal Allegiance to one another.
Members come and go, so Most Criminal Acts are Those of Opportunity, or Extorting Local Small Businesses who cannot reasonably put up a Successful Defense.
In the U.S. Criminal Gangs have been around since its Inception. In the Early Days of the Republic, the Size and Type was usually Orientated Towards the Geography and Relative Isolation of the Area of Operations. Most Successful Gangs Operated on the Frontiers of the New Country, Where Law and Order were in Their Infancy.
The Dawn of the Formation of Larger Gangs, with a Membership that was Drawn from an Identifiable Section of the Population, came with the Onset of a Large Wave of Immigration starting in the Early 1800s. From this Initial Period of American History, we see the Beginning of Social Factors that led to the Formation of the First Organized Criminal Gangs that would have a Lasting and Direct Influence on Major Population Centers.