Controlling Organized Crime

Organized crime has been a huge issue in the Unites States for many years. The Mafia was one of the first well known organized crime group. The Mafia was a very powerful organized crime group that has been in existed since the 1970’s. The Mafia is not the only organized crime group; there are many other organized crime groups that mimicked the structure of the Mafia. These organized crime groups operate solely for monetary gain. These groups operate worldwide and some operate in your own neighborhoods. The question now, is how can organized crime be controlled?

This paper will identify problems presented and the various relationships established by organize crime. It will also describe the legal limitations associated with combating organized crime, including a critique of major federal laws and strategies that support this effort. Organized crime can be defined as crime committed on a national or international scale by a criminal association; also, the associations themselves. Such associations engage in offenses such as cargo theft, fraud, robbery, kidnapping for ransom, and the demanding of “protection” payments.

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Their principal source of income derives from the supply of illegal goods and services for which there is continuous public demand, such as drugs, prostitution, “loan-sharking” (i. e. , the lending of money at extremely high interest rates), and gambling (Britannica Encyclopedia). Organized crime is the unlawful activity performed by groups or criminal organizations of people for monetary gain. These groups may sell illegal drugs, have illegal prostitution rings, and gain money from financial scams. When people think of organized crime, they usually relate that to the mafia.

Mafia was a term used to describe a number of criminal organizations all around the world. Some terrorist organizations can even be considered an organized crime group. The problem that organized crime has brought to this country is violence, drug addiction, corruption and murder. Criminal gangs, criminal political machines and organized crime groups such as the Mafia pose a threat to our society and our nation’s security. These criminal groups are well resourced and are so connected in politics and with law enforcement officials that it is easy for them to stay nder the radar. Some politicians, law enforcement officials and business owners have all established relationships with organized crime groups.

Due to the constant growth of organized crime, the government had to come up with something to try and control organized crime. In 1970, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. At the time, Congresses goal was to eliminate the ill-affect of organized crime groups on the nation’s economy (Grell 2010). The main goal of the RICO Act was to eliminate and destroy the Mafia.

RICO’s broad application was the result of Congress’ inclusion of mail and wire fraud as two crimes upon which a RICO claim can be brought (Grell 2010). The RICO Law provides criminal penalties for those participating in organized crime groups. Although the RICO Law was established to reduce organized crime activity, it has not been able to totally successful at eliminating the criminal activity of organized crime groups. RICO has proved to be a powerful tool in the federal government’s fight against organized crime.

Many states also have enacted RICO-style statutes designed to apprehend organized crime that somehow escapes the provisions of RICO. Prosecutors have used RICO against a variety of criminals and obtained lengthy sentences for them. According to many critics, RICO has been expanded beyond its original purpose of eradicating traditional organized crime groups to convict petty, nonviolent criminals and sentence them to unduly long prison terms (Snopes 2004). The question at hand is, is there a realistic solution to control organized crime? There is no real solution to totally eradicate organized crime.

The government has come up with many crime prevention programs to educate law enforcement and the people in different communities, but organized crimes still exist. This doesn’t mean that the government should give up and stop efforts created to control and eliminate organized crime. This should be motivation to try as many things possible until a solution is established. Realistically it seems almost impossible to stop organized crime groups all together. There are so many people in this country who are so driven by money and will obtain it by any means.

There are law enforcement officials and politicians who are all motivated by money. In today’s society, there seems to be no real fear of prison for anyone. This makes laws such as the RICO Act non-threatening to those individuals committing crimes. This also makes the job of law makers much more difficult. If there were less corrupt individuals who were willing to participate in illegal activities for money, then maybe organized crime could be eradicated. According to the empirical theory as it relates to organized crime, believes that behaviors and action are learned through observation.

The only possible solution that may decrease organized crime is to start in our communities. People need to be educated on the seriousness of organized crime and how to help law enforcement deal with the problem. Conclusion In conclusion, known organized crime groups have existed for many many years. The government has come up with several solutions that have decreased some organized crime activities but have not totally eliminated it. In the previous paragraphs I identified the problems presented and the various relationships established by organized crime.

I also have discussed the legal limitations associating with combating organized crime. I have also discussed possible solutions to eradicate organized crime. Organized crimes continue to be a problem in the United States as well as other countries around the world. The behavior of these groups are unacceptable and there should be something done to try and put a stop to it.


  1. RICO Act By Jeffery E. Grell 2010 Retrieved June 13, 2010 from http://ricoact. com/ “RICO Suave” 2004 Retrieved on June 13, 2010 from www. snopes. com

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Controlling Organized Crime. (2018, May 27). Retrieved from