Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Organized Crime Control
There is no consensus on the definition of the term organized crime , but it is generally thought of as either a business that primarily engages in an ongoing pattern of illicit activity, or a syndicate that regulates the operations of such businesses. Frequently, the notion of structure and the ability and willingness to use force and corruption to attain economic advantage are seen as indispensable attributes of such businesses or groups. Today, the term Mafia , which properly refers to a specific group indigenous to Sicily (and that is also known as “the Mob”), is often used generically to refer to any group engaged in organized crime or, indeed, other conspiratorial behavior. Although there were, and currently are, numerous other criminal syndicates, U.S. law enforcement tended historically to focus on Italian American groups and developed its approach to combating organized crime from its experiences in doing so. During the ...