Scope And Activities Of Criminal Organizations
The scope of criminal organizations may vary. Some larger criminal organizations may dominate regional or national landscapes, while others may be smaller and only operate locally. To survive and thrive, members of criminal organizations engage in a wide array of primarily illegal activities, ranging from petty theft to drug trafficking, and often take advantage of any sociological event or circumstance to make a profit. For example, consider how organized crime groups governed the sale of alcohol during Prohibition from 1920 to 1933. After Prohibition was repealed, the opportunity to make money shifted to other illegal activities such as loansharking, money laundering, sex trafficking, gambling, and drug trafficking.
Gangs also tend to respond to the opportunities presented by social change but do so with even greater speed and flexibility than organized crime groups. For example, gangs quickly recognized the potential for immense profit when crack cocaine gained popularity in the inner cities during the 1980s. They promptly seized control of dealing this drug on the streets. In addition to their involvement in the drug business, gangs often commit small-scale crimes such as burglary, vandalism, and neighborhood gambling. Regardless of the activity, the greatest profit for both gangs and organized crime groups is derived when conducting criminal operations as “businesses,” with effective planning, strong organizational support, and tight networks.
In this Assignment, you explore the scope and activities of a criminal organization in your community.
By Day 7
Submit a 500- to 750-word press release on a criminal organization that poses a significant threat to your community. Include the following in your press release:
- Which criminal organization poses the most significant threat to your community? What evidence exists to suggest this organization is a threat? To what degree does the organization operate outside of your community?
- What is the history of the organization? How did it come to be, how did it evolve, and who are its founding and/or prominent members?
- What are the organization’s activities, including those that may be legal or illegal? How are these activities carried out, and what is the benefit to the organization?
- What factors in the community contribute to the success of the organization? How has the organization impacted the community?
Be sure to reference the course readings to support your responses.