Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Joseph L. Albini
Organized crime constitutes in and of itself a social problem, but, in reality, it becomes an influential factor in producing many other types of social problems. Attempts at finding a definition of organized crime acceptable to all the disciplines that deal with its subject matter have met with frustration; hence, here its major characteristics are distinguished by the word organized , which means that it is committed by two or more or a group or groups of individuals working together. Another distinguishing feature lies in the criminal goals, motivations, or ends that these groups seek to achieve. There are four basic types of organized crime. The first is mercenary organized crime , in which the major goal is attaining a direct financial profit from engaging in the crime. This category includes gangs that burglarize homes, auto theft rings, pocket-picking rings, and groups that perpetuate various forms of confidence games. By ...