Organized Crime (2nd Edition)

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9780130100207: Organized Crime (2nd Edition)

This book demystifies the world of organized crime by analyzing it closely and critically from a social perspective. Afro-American, Mexican, Asian, Colombian, African and Jamaican criminal groups are discussed as well as their Italian criminal counterparts who are typically thought of when the term “organized crime” is used. The book chronicles the history, current role, and future of players in the world of organized crime, along with insight on what the criminal justice system is doing to suppress organized criminals. the concept of organized crime, theories of organized criminal behavior, the evolution of organized crime, the business of organized crime, the illicit drug trade, domestic organized crime groups, a comparative perspective, terrorism as organized crime, organized crime's political and corporate alliance, controlling organized crime. For anyone interested in organized crime especially those in law enforcement.

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From the Publisher:

This text provides a comprehensive overview of organized crime -- its definition, theories that explain it, its businesses, history, participants (both domestic and foreign groups), political and corporate alliances, and methods for controlling it.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Crime and criminality have been cornerstones for countless movie and book plots and radio/TV talk shows over the decades. Of all the varied types of criminal activity, however, organized crime has proven to be the most intriguing through the years. Images of pin-striped gangsters, police shoot-outs, and flamboyant lifestyles emerge whenever the topic of organized crime is mentioned. To a great extent, these images form the basis for stereotyping what the public generally perceives as organized crime. However, these images fail to portray organized crime realistically.

The third edition of Organized Crime is designed to be an introductory text serving several purposes in the field of criminal justice. First, it provides the reader an understanding of the concept of organized crime, what it is and what it is not. It also gives the reader the necessary historical foundation for understanding the evolution, development, and current status of organized crime. Most important, the book is designed to dispel the myth that organized crime is composed exclusively of Italian-American criminal groups. In fact, when considering the overall problem of crime in our communities, other groups, such as African-American, Mexican, Colombian, and Jamaican criminal groups, play an increasingly important role in it.

Another important component to the book is that drug trafficking plays an important role in the continuing proliferation of organized crime groups. The existence of the illegal drug trade says much about those groups that traffic illicit drugs and about those members of society who use these drugs and consequently lend support to organized criminals. In addition to a separate chapter dealing with the issue, the topic is discussed periodically throughout the book.

We have made a great effort to present this material in a logically organized, readable fashion. The problem of organized crime is examined from a social perspective using specially designed pedagogical features. These include chapter objectives, critical thinking exercises, chapter summaries, key terms, and suggested readings. All of these features are designed to promote scholarly thought and insight into the problem of organized crime while presenting important thematic questions in each chapter including these: What is organized crime? Is there really a Mafia? Is terrorism organized crime? Do political machines still exist? Although there are no hard-and-fast answers to these questions, readers can draw conclusions and perhaps develop probing questions on their own. In many respects the most important pursuit for students studying organized crime is to develop sufficient mastery of the topic to ask the right questions.

Organized Crime, Third Edition incorporates a considerable amount of new material and updates. New/revised topics include: arms trafficking; contraband smuggling; counterfeiting; piracy; Chinese organized crime; drug trafficking: Colombian traffickers, Mexican drug syndicates, Nigerian drug traffickers, Albanian drug smuggling networks, Dominican drug traffickers; trafficking in gems and gold; high tech crime; intellectual property rights violations; trafficking in nuclear material; environmental crime; trafficking in women and children; Southeast Asia; Afghanistan; and the Japanese Yakuza.

The preparation of this book was a demanding task because it required sifting through an enormous amount of historical data and archives to present the most salient aspects of the organized crime problem. The efforts of the authors were augmented by numerous individuals and organizations. In addition to the research offered by well-known researchers in the field, information was also culled from governmental reports generated by organizations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Crime Commission, the National Institute of Justice, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

In addition to those special people and organizations mentioned, we would also like to recognize the efforts of those criminal justice academicians who took time to review this text in its developmental stages. Included are Paul Becker, Morehead State University; Joseph Andritzky, Concordia University; Ken Mullen, Appalachian State University; Frank Afflito; University of Tennessee at Memphis; Steven Brodt, Ball State University; and William Kelly, Auburn University. The feedback, suggestions, and recommendations provided by each of these contributors is greatly appreciated.

Finally, we wish to thank the many friends at Prentice Hall who helped in the book's production. Special recognition is well deserved for acquisitions editor Frank Mortimer and assistant editor Sarah Holle.

The study of organized crime is one of the most fascinating educational endeavors, posing thematic, scholarly, and ideological questions. As we attempt to understand this area of interest, let us bear in mind that during the past century organized crime became the most insidious form of criminality involving criminals, politicians, bankers, lawyers, and the all-important users of illegal goods and services. The authors would like to thank you for the adoption of this book for classroom study, and we encourage comments and suggestions regarding this publication for the improvement of future editions.

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