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Donny Mackay Mr.

Harris Organized Crime July 17 2012 Organized Crime in the United States

Organized crime has been a big part of our society for more than a century. Organized crime is very hard in itself to define because it has no single definition. There is no generally accepted definition of organized crime and the Federal Organized Crime Control act of 1970 fails to define organized crime but a number of attributes have been identified by law enforcement agencies. Organized criminal groups have no political goals, its hierarchical it has very limited or exclusive membership, it is governed by explicit rules and regulations and exhibits a willingness to use illegal violence. But finding a cause of organized crime has been really hard to do considering they all have different goals. The second attribute of organized crime is its instrumental nature. Instrumental crimes are defined as illegal acts committed when individuals unable to obtain desired goods and services through conventional means, resort to crimes-for-profit. Organized crime exists for the sole purpose of making money. Organized crime has been known to be associated with some of the biggest crimes and convictions in the United States. Prohibition was a very big part of organized

crime in the earlier 20th century. In the ninety days preceding the eighteenth amendment, 500,000 dollars worth of whiskey was stolen from government warehouses. Less than 1 hour after prohibition went into effect, 6 armed men stole 100,000 dollars worth of whiskey from two box cars in Chicago, Illinois. Prohibition changed the relationship between the politicians, vice entrepreneurs and gang leaders. Bootleg alcohol is what fueled the work of Organized crime. Most of the men involved in the Mafia or gangs were young immigrants. The business of bootleg alcohol was highly profitable for everyone involved which often fueled the Mafia or gang wars. By the late 1920's more than 1 million gallons of bootleg liquor had been illegally brought into the United States. Most of the alcohol came in either through Canada or from ships that were located just beyond U.S. waters. Physical protection from rival organizations and armed robbers was suddenly more important than protection from law enforcement. With the subsequent repeal of prohibition, the financial base of organized crime narrowed considerably. Many players dropped out, went into legitimate enterprises or employment, others drifted into conventional criminality. Along with prohibition came new types of organized criminals, but the Italian mafia had already been around and involved. Between 1891 and 1920, 4 million Italians entered the United States. By early 1920, about 500,000, mostly southern, Italians lived in New York City, in the most deprived social and economic circumstances. Among these immigrants were Mafiosi, who established protection regimes in every American city that had a sizeable Sicilian population. The Unione Siciliana emerged in nineteenth century New York as a lawful

fraternal society designed to advance the interests of Sicilian immigrants. The mafia grew large and strong by the 19th century. By then it had become a vast criminally oriented society. They followed their own authority and rules and ignored any other form of order. Joining the mafia was like joining a religion. It was a commitment for life. You could not retire from it (and this still holds true today.) This was a serious "religion", even for the very young mafia members. They were taught basic uses of the sword, knife, and rope, in order to be able to murder their victims. It would be a very violent death to anyone who became an informant. By 1930 there were two major mafia factions in New York, one headed by Giuseppe Masseria operating out of the Little Italy of East Harlem. The other was Salvatore Maranzano whose business office was in midtown Manhattan. Each member of a mafia family, a made guy, has been accorded a valuable franchise, a sense of entitlement that enables him to engage in multiple different criminal activities. Members and associates are organized into crews, which are semi-independent units nominally headed by a street boss or even a soldier. The rules of the American mafia are very similar to those of many organized crime families. You must always show respect to those who command the family. Violence must be used, even if only of a limited type, to ensure respect for you and your members of your family. You never are allowed to resort to violence though, in a dispute with a member or associate of your or another family. You must keep your mouth shut, anything you head and anything that you see, stays with you in your head and you must never talk about it. The boss can

unilaterally direct violence, including murder, against any member of his family, but he cannot engage in murder-for-hire, that is to make a profit on a murder. Even though traditional organized crime does not have written rules, it has an elaborate set of norms that will govern behavior. Organized crime is an ongoing operation that will not stop because it would affect too many people. It will hurt the economy in such a way that it may not recover. It has been a very difficult test for local law enforcement to try and limit the activities and crimes committed by them. The organized crime organizations control a good amount of the community around them and anyone in the community knows when and organized crime family is around and operating. Some people feel a sense of fright, while others, they feel a sence of security and safety because they know they can be protected.