When you hear the Words "ORGANIZED CRIME", what comes to Mind? Is it;
- Drug Dealers Ruling Neighborhood Streets?
- Memories of the "GODFATHER" MOVIES?
- Bank Robbers like John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Baby Face Nelson?
- Terrorists Targeting Innocent People, to Create Fear and Mistrust?
... OR MAYBE SOMETHING ELSE.
Why did I ask this Question at the Very Beginning? Because, it is something that has caused a great deal of Controversy over the Years. Politicians, Police Officials, Attorneys and the Court Systems etc., have argued over the Proper Definition for Decades. In Other Words:
- Does "Organized" Mean a Structured Chain of Command, with a Given Set of Rules and Regulations that are Enforced by the Leadership?
- Is it a "Members" only Club, where outsiders are just Tools that can be Discarded at any Time?
- Must it have a Purpose for its Existence, with everything Directed Towards a Specific Goal?
- Does Race and Ethnicity play any role in Designating a Particular Group as an Established Organization Brought Together for Illegal Purposes?
- Generally Speaking, Terms that Denote a Collection of Individuals as a "Gang", are Differentiated from Others Tagged as "Organized Crime." I will explain the Reasons in a Future Post.
Of Course, Fighting Organized Criminal Elements through the Criminal Justice System is a Much Different Task than it is with other Forms of Illegal Activity. As we look at the History of Organized Crime, the Level of Sophistication that is often Achieved makes Arrests and Prosecution more difficult. This is Especially True if we consider the Amount of Corruption that has been Introduced into Established Legal Authority.
So How are we to Define "Organized Crime." Look for Part 2.