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Cja384 Week 1


Submitted By bigmac200550
Words 770
Pages 4
Juvenile Justice Process and Corrections.
CJA/384-Criminal Organizations
December 3, 2013
Constant Wilson

Organized Crime

In this paper, I will describe my personal perception of organized crime. I will identify any assumptions on which my perceptions are based, and answer the following questions. How would you describe or define organized crime? How does your perception compare to the definitions in the readings? What characteristics do you think are associated with organized criminal behavior?

In my mind, when I think of organized crime, I think back to the days of the mafia, the Costa Nostra. People like: John Gotti “The Teflon Don”, Al Capone, Charles “Lucky’ Luciano, Bugsy Seigel, and “Machine Gun” Kelly, powerful crime families like the Gambino and Genovese families. Powerful Men and Families that ran intricate schemes of criminal activity. These men were at times ruthless criminals and at times loving family men, proven by the fact that they called their gangs a family, even though not all the men in the families were related. A large part of my knowledge about organized crime comes from television, news, movies and books. Organized crime has been sensationalized in the entertainment industry for years. Movies like the Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Untouchables, and television shows, as The Sopranos made the life in organized crime seem almost normal. The fact that these men committed numerous crimes, both financial and violent, seems to have passed over the heads of many people. To me organized crime is a group of people that band together to commit crimes for personal and financial gains. The book defines organized crime using the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) description as a group that contains at least three or more people that engage in ongoing and indefinite in duration, motivated by a desire for profit or power and the group commits serious criminal offenses. When compared to the reading, my perception of organized crime matched up well against the book. To be a part or organized crime, especially back in the 1930’s - 1950’s, took a very cunning, devious, and many time psychotic person to persevere in organized crime. Organized crime rings were huge during the United States’ prohibition period. Gangsters like Al “Scarface” Capone, a vicious killer, made money hand over fist by bringing in and providing alcohol to the public. Gangsters like Capone were also savvy businessmen, not only did they provide the alcohol but they also operated the night clubs or “Speakeasies” where people could go and drink, listen to music and dance the nights away. The gangs kept these clubs private to not bring the wrath of law enforcement. These criminal organizations also ran bookie joints and gambling houses, brothels for prostitution, horse and racetracks, and distilleries. These organizations could make upwards of $100,000,000 a year. Capone was such a savvy criminal, that he evaded prosecution for most of his crimes. He was never charged for murders or gambling, but was finally tried and convicted for a misdemeanor charge of failing to fie tax returns for the years of 1928 and 1929, the government charged that Capone owed $215,080 from his gambling profits. Capone was sentenced to ten years in federal prison. Capone also had to pay a total of $50,000 in fines and the prosecution costs of $7,692. One of the most crime savvy and violent criminal minds of the time had been brought down by a failure to pay taxes and his own accountant who testified against him.

One of the biggest names in law enforcement at the time, that was fighting the illegal alcohol trade, was Elliot Ness. He was a no nonsense Federal Agent put in charge of bringing down the Capone operations in Chicago.

Another major mobster what Charles “Lucky” Luciano. He was best known for coordinating the splitting of New York into five major crime families. Luciano headed the Genovese crime family. Luciano had great leadership abilities, was able to lead his family for many years, and became a very powerful and rich man because of this.

In this paper, I described my personal perception of organized crime. I identified any assumptions on which my perceptions were based, and I answered the following questions. How did I describe or define organized crime? How did my perception compare to the definitions in the readings? What characteristics did I think were associated with organized criminal behavior?


Major Cases-Past and Present(N.D.)

Al Capone(1999)

Lucky Luciano(2013)

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