“The Godfather”, written by Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino, is the first thought that comes to mind when hearing the term Organized Crime. The Godfather is about a Sicilian Mafia family in New York, ran by Don Vito Corleone. Don Vito Corleone is an Italian mob leader of extreme hierarchy. Italian families and Al Pacino is what I perceive Organized Crimes to be. These personal perceptions of organized crime are common with the definitions provided as follows. According to the readings there are a few different definitions of organized crime.

According to Donald Cressey (1969: 319) “An organized crime is any crime committed by a person occupying, in an established division of labor, a position designed for the commission of crimes providing that such division of labor includes at least one position for a corrupter, one position for a coruptee, and one position for an enforcer. ” According to the U. S. Department of Justice organized crime is “all illegal activities engaged in by members of criminal syndicates operative throughout the United States and all illegal activities engaged in by known associates and confederates of such members. Another definition provided by an international conference in Warsaw is “Group activities of three or more persons, with hierarchical links or personal relationships, which permit their leaders to earn profits or control territories or markets, internal or foreign, by means of violence, intimidation or corruption, both in furtherance of criminal activity and to infiltrate the legitimate economy. ”

There are 9 characteristics of organized crime that defines it as such. The first being that Organized crime has not political goals. The second being that organized crime is hierarchical. The third factor of organized crime is the limited or exclusive membership. The fourth characteristic of organized crime is that it constitutes a unique subculture. The Fifth characteristic is that organized crime perpetuates itself.

The sixth characteristic of organized crime is the exhibition of a willingness to use illegal violence and bribery. The seventh characteristic of organized crime is that it demonstrates specialization/ division of labor. The eighth characteristic is that it is monopolistic. And the ninth and last characteristic or organized crime is that it is governed by explicit rules and regulations. References Abadinsky, H. (2007). Organized Crime 8th edition. Belmont, CA: Thompson/ Wadsworth.