Organized Crime Essay

1035 Words 5 Pages
Organized crime is often described similarily by groups like government, the press and popular opinion. This similar definition is described through the knowledge people have gained from pop-culture movies, television shows, magazines, novels and stories from newspaper articles. Often these newspaper articles are written by authors who have little more knowledge on the structure of organized crime then what their favorite Sopranos episode dictates. It is extremely rare in today's society that somone who has an opinion on organized crime (which is almost everyone) has gained this opinion through first-hand experience (Finckenauer, p. 63). The problem with this narrow view of organized crime is that it fails to encompass the real …show more content…
In the case of drug smuggling groups, their hierarchial structure is defined more as a structure of connected nodes (Cromwell, p. 255), with no real chain of command or verticle levels of authority. This has been noted to give the drug smuggling groups independence allowing them to be extremely flexible networks that can "change tactics quickly" and are "insulated from those earlier or later in the smuggling transaction chain." (Cromwell, p.255) If a group of police officers attempted to stop this type of organized crime with tactics based on a model of verticle hierarchy, they would undoubtably fail. This is but one example of organized crime being the opposite of it's literal definition, organized.


The Definition of organized crime is not wrong due to the definition of crime being misused, as crimes both mala in se (wrong in and of themselves) and mala prohibita (wrong because they are prohibited) are well-defined, accepted and viewed by the greater population as being crimes. (Finckenauer, p. 64). The wrongful understanding of organized crime therefore comes from the commonly shared misunderstanding that organized crime is just that, organized. Our definition which pertains to this misunderstanding is most generally based off the model of the Italian Mafia or Medellin Cartels (Peikoff, Module 3, Unit 1)(Cromwell, p.251). A hierarchy that has been glamourized and romantacized through movies like the Godfather…