Running head: PERSONAL PERCEPTION OF ORGANIZED CRIME CJA/393 Criminal Organizations Personal Perception of Organized Crime Before taking this class I had always thought of organized crime as a group of people who used violence and crime to get what they wanted or to not get in trouble when they commit crimes. I honestly thought that all organized crime groups were like the Sopranos or one of the movies I have seen on television. I also thought that the United States is where all the organized crime was and I was surprised to find that there are more crime groups all over the world.
I learned from the reading that there were many different definitions for organized crime and I found that I was not so far off with my own definition. According to the reading (2005) the American law enforcement agencies have been slow to even respond to the insightful changes that have come about with organized crime that has been brought about by globalization.
The European agencies have drastically changed their views of organized crime and the structure of it. The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) in the United Kingdom describe organized crime in four ways.
These four ways include that the organized crime group will usually contain at least three people, the criminal activity within the group is usually ongoing and indistinct in length, the group will be motivated by the desire for revenue or even power, and the group will commit very serious criminal offenses (Lyman & Potter, 2007). This is pretty much what I thought of the crime organizations before doing the research, but I went with what I see on television more. According to the United Nations (UN) there are five different ideal types of criminal organization in the world.
These types are ranging from the most conventional forms of organized crime to the more modern organized networks. These types include standard hierarchy, regional hierarchy, clustered hierarchy, core groups, and criminal network. Because these types are ideal types this means the criminal organizations will not all match to a specific type, but most of them will have the main characteristics of at least one of the types. The first three types are the closest to the conventional forms of organized crime while the last two are the closest to the forms of modern organized crime (Lyman & Potter, 2007).
Before reading this I did not know that there were different types of organized crime. I always thought there was one type and they were all out for the same thing. There are different theories as to why a person either starts up an organized crime group or joins a group. Some say that there are individual characteristics that include greed, opportunism, and some sort of inclination for violence was many primary factors that contribute to a person’s rise in the criminal underworld. There is no single theory that will explain why a person will commit a crime.
These theories include the alien conspiracy theory, rational choice theory, and the deterrence theory. The alien conspiracy theory is the mostly held in organized crime today. This theory will blame outsiders and other outside influences for organized crime in United States society. This could come from the gangster images and movies we see on television were we see well-dressed men with machine guns and living with codes of silence. The rational choice theory is when people make the choice to commit the crimes after weighing the benefits and the consequences of the actions.
Examples of this would be if a man finds out his wife is having an affair and he chooses to kill her and her lover. That person knew what the consequences would come from his actions and still did it anyway. The deterrence theory is a theory that people believe that the crime can be reduced with the use of deterrents (Lyman & Potter, 2007). I truly believe that a person’s personality traits will eventually play some sort of role in that person’s decision making. Some traits will make a person susceptible to different problems such as substance abuse, promiscuity, violence, and sociopathic.
Many of these same traits have been found among the different populations who have at one time or another been arrested for a crime (Lyman & Potter, 2007). Because of these traits the person could easily be susceptible to fall into an organized crime group. In conclusion, I found in the reading to be much different from what I had always thought over the years. I learned more about why a person joins into these organized crime groups and what they get out of joining them in the end. I found these groups to be shown on television as nothing really too bad, but is the total opposite in real life.
Before I could understand someone urging to become a part of these groups because they might come from families that are broken and these organizations could show them a family that sticks together. They just do their sticking together in more violent illegal ways. I have totally changed my standing on the organized crime groups and it just makes me want to research more. References Lyman, M. D. , & Potter, G. W. (2007). Chapter 1: understanding organized crime. Retrieved May 2, 2010, from https://ecampus. phoenix. du/content/eBookLibrary2/content/eReader. aspx? assetMetaId=1a9aa3e4-ed6f-47d0-9361-3b5b944422bd&assetDataId=b4a647fc-faa3-4074-9870-1e529aa017ca&assetpdfdataid=e05c3d09-f828-41eb-8fc5-87fb7cc26f9a. Lyman, M. D. , & Potter, G. W. (2007). Chapter 2: theories of organized criminal behavior. Retrieved May 2, 2010, from https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/content/eBookLibrary2/content/eReader. aspx? assetMetaId=1a9aa3e4-ed6f-47d0-9361-3b5b944422bd&assetDataId=eac913a4-18d2-4f87-847a-112ef09acb97&assetpdfdataid=61ee2a9f-aafc-4289-b51c-7b21d22390e3.
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