Contemporary Gang Changes

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Contemporary Gang Changes



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Definitions of a gang and impacts on public policy, Rebecca D. What happens to girls in the gang? Joan W. Moore and John M. Thomas Winfree. Zatz and Edward L. Kunitz and Jerrold E. An overview of the challenge of prison gangs, Mark S. Fleisher and Scott H. Gang subcultures and prison gangs of female youth, Rebecca D. School violence: Gangs and a culture of fear, Douglas E. Youth gang homicides: A literature review, James C. Gangs, drugs and neighborhood change, Jeffrey Fagan. Legitimating drug use: A note on the impact of gang membership and drug sales on the use of illicit drugs, Scott H.

Youth maltreatment and gang involvement, Kevin M. Thompson and Rhonda Braaten-Antrim. Gender and victimization risk among young women in gangs, Jody Miller. Promising programs for young gang violence prevention and intervention, James C. Pope and Rick Lovell. About the Author s. In addition, evaluations of gang intervention programs have had mixed results, suggesting that the puzzle of how to best address gangs has not been solved. The absence of the resolution of these and other issues and the continuing expansion and their changing nature ensures that the study of gangs will flourish and continue to develop in the future.

Overviews of gangs are typically found in texts and Anthologies. One exception is an encyclopedia on gangs, Kontos and Brotherton General overviews and textbooks can be distinguished between those that focus on gangs in the United States and those that center on gangs in other countries. While scholarship on gangs in the United States has developed for decades, studies on gangs outside of the United States have lagged but have recently surfaced. The following textbooks are suitable as college textbooks.

All are well organized and touch on key subject areas related to gangs. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login. Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.

Not a member? Sign up for My OBO. Already a member? Publications Pages Publications Pages. Subscriber sign in You could not be signed in, please check and try again. The term "computer virus" may be used as an overarching phrase to include all types of true viruses, malware , including computer worms , Trojan horses , most rootkits , spyware , dishonest adware and other malicious and unwanted software though all are technically unique , [] and proves to be quite financially lucrative for criminal organizations, [] offering greater opportunities for fraud and extortion whilst increasing security, secrecy and anonymity.

Worms and Trojan horses, like viruses, may harm a computer system's data or performance. Applying the Internet model of organized crime, the proliferation of computer viruses and other malicious software promotes a sense of detachment between the perpetrator whether that be the criminal organization or another individual and the victim; this may help to explain vast increases in cyber-crime such as these for the purpose of ideological crime or terrorism. It is considered "the first attack on critical industrial infrastructure that sits at the foundation of modern economies," notes the New York Times. Corporate crime refers to crimes committed either by a corporation i. Corporate crimes are motivated by either the individuals desire or the corporations desire to increase profits.

For example, some jurisdictions allow insider trading. The different businesses that organized crime figures have been known to operate is vast, including but not limited to pharmacies , import-export companies , check-cashing stores , tattoo parlors , zoos , online dating sites , liquor stores , motorcycle shops, banks , hotels , ranches and plantations , electronic stores , beauty salons , real estate companies , daycares , framing stores , taxicab companies , phone companies , shopping malls , jewelry stores , modeling agencies , dry cleaners , pawn shops , pool halls , clothing stores , freight companies , charity foundations , youth centers , recording studios , sporting goods stores , furniture stores, gyms , insurance companies , security companies , law firms , and private military companies.

Labor Racketeering, as defined by the United States Department of Labor, is the infiltrating, exploiting, and controlling of employee benefit plan, union, employer entity, or workforce that is carried out through illegal, violent, or fraudulent means for profit or personal benefit. Political corruption [] is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality , is not considered political corruption.

Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties. Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery , extortion , cronyism , nepotism , patronage , graft , and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking , money laundering , and human trafficking , it is not restricted to these activities.

The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or poorly defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions. Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. There are suggestions that due to the continuing decline in opium production in South East Asia, traffickers may begin to look to Afghanistan as a source of heroin.

With respect to organized crime and accelerating synthetic drug production in East and Southeast Asia, especially the Golden Triangle , Sam Gor , also known as The Company , is the most prominent international crime syndicate based in Asia-Pacific. It is made up of members of five different triads. Sam Gor previously produced meth in Southern China and is now believed to manufacture mainly in the Golden Triangle , specifically Shan State , Myanmar , responsible for much of the massive surge of crystal meth in recent years.

In , Tse immigrated to Canada. In , Tse was convicted of transporting heroin into the United States and served nine years behind bars. The U. Heroin comes in two forms. The first is its chemical base form which presents itself as brown and the second is a salt form that is white. There is some suspicion white Heroin is also being produced in Iran and Pakistan, but it is not confirmed. This area of Heroin production is referred to as the Golden Crescent. Heroin is not the only drug being used in these areas.

The European market has shown signs of growing use in opioids on top of the long-term heroin use. Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a major cause of contemporary sexual slavery and is primarily for prostituting women and children into sex industries. See Snakehead gang , Coyotaje. People smuggling is defined as "the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation or illegal entry of a person or persons across an international border, in violation of one or more countries laws, either clandestinely or through deception, such as the use of fraudulent documents". The number of slaves today remains as high as 12 million [] to 27 million.

Today, crime is sometimes thought of as an urban phenomenon, but for most of human history it was the rural interfaces that encountered the majority of crimes bearing in mind the fact that for most of human history, rural areas were the vast majority of inhabited places. For the most part, within a village, members kept crime at very low rates; however, outsiders such as pirates , highwaymen , and bandits attacked trade routes and roads, at times severely disrupting commerce, raising costs, insurance rates and prices to the consumer.

According to criminologist Paul Lunde, " Piracy and banditry were to the pre-industrial world what organized crime is to modern society. If we take a global rather than a strictly domestic view, it becomes evident that even crime of the organized kind has a long if not a necessarily noble heritage. The word 'thug' dates back to early 13th-century India , when Thugs , or gangs of criminals, roamed from town to town, looting and pillaging. Smuggling and drug-trafficking rings are as old as the hills in Asia and Africa , and extant criminal organizations in Italy and Japan trace their histories back several centuries As Lunde states, " Barbarian conquerors, whether Vandals , Goths , the Norse , Turks or Mongols are not normally thought of as organized crime groups, yet they share many features associated with thriving criminal organizations.

They were for the most part non-ideological, predominantly ethnically based, used violence and intimidation, and adhered to their own codes of law. Terrorism is linked to organized crime, but has political aims rather than solely financial ones, so there is overlap but separation between terrorism and organized crime. Fences were part of the extensive network of accomplices in the criminal underground of Ming and Qing China. Their occupation entailed criminal activity, but as fences often acted as liaisons between the more respectable community to the underground criminals, they were seen as living a "precarious existence on the fringes of respectable society".

A fence worked alongside bandits , but in a different line of work. The network of criminal accomplices that was often acquired was essential to ensuring both the safety and the success of fences. The path into the occupation of a fence stemmed, in a large degree, from necessity. As most fences came from the ranks of poorer people, they often took whatever work they could — both legal and illegal. Like most bandits operated within their own community, fences also worked within their own town or village. For example, in some satellite areas of the capital, military troops lived within or close to the commoner population and they had the opportunity to hold illegal trades with commoners. In areas like Baoding and Hejian , local peasants and community members not only purchased military livestock such as horses and cattle, but also helped to hide the "stolen livestock from military allured by the profits".

Local peasants and community members became fences and they hid criminal activities from officials in return for products or money from these soldiers. Most fences were not individuals who only bought and sold stolen goods to make a living. The majority of fences had other occupations within the "polite" society and held a variety of official occupations. These occupations included laborers, coolies, and peddlers. At times, the robbers themselves filled the role of fences, selling to people they met on the road. This may actually have been preferable for robbers in certain circumstances, because they would not have to pay the fence a portion of the spoils. Butchers were also prime receivers for stolen animals because of the simple fact that owners could no longer recognize their livestock once butchers slaughtered them.

Although the vast majority of the time, fences worked with physical stolen property, fences who also worked as itinerant barbers also sold information as a good. Itinerant barbers often amassed important sources of information and news as they traveled, and sold significant pieces of information, often to criminals in search of places to hide or individuals to rob. He or she not only sold items such as jewelry and clothing but was also involved in trafficking hostages that bandits had kidnapped. Women and children were the easiest and among the most common "objects" the fences sold. Most of the female hostages were sold to fences and then sold as prostitutes , wives, or concubines. One example of human trafficking can be seen from Chen Akuei's gang who abducted a servant girl and sold her to Lin Baimao, who in turn sold her for thirty parts of silver as wives.

Children were often sold as servants or entertainers, while young girls were often sold as prostitutes. Like merchants of honest goods, one of the most significant tools of a fence was their network of connections. As they were the middlemen between robbers and clients, fences needed to form and maintain connections in both the "polite" society, as well as among criminals. However, there were a few exceptions in which members of the so-called "well-respected" society became receivers and harborers.

They not only help bandits to sell the stolen goods but also acted as agents of bandits to collect protection money from local merchants and residents. These "part-time" fences with high social status used their connection with bandits to help themselves gain social capital as well as wealth. It was extremely important to their occupation that fences maintained a positive relationship with their customers, especially their richer gentry clients. When some members of the local elites joined the ranks of fences, they not only protect bandits to protect their business interests, they actively took down any potential threats to their illegal profiting, even government officials.

In the Zhejiang Province , the local elites not only got the provincial commissioner, Zhu Wan, dismissed from his office but also eventually "[drove] him to suicide". It was also essential for them to maintain a relationship with bandits. However, it was just as true that bandits needed fences to make a living. As a result, fences often held dominance in their relationship with bandits, and fences could exploit their position, cheating the bandits by manipulating the prices they paid bandits for the stolen property.

Aside from simply buying and selling stolen goods, fences often played additional roles in the criminal underground of early China. Because of the high floating population in public places such as inns and tea houses, they often became ideal places for bandies and gangs to gather to exchange information and plan for their next crime. Harborers, people who provided safe houses for criminals, often played the role of receiving stolen goods from their harbored criminals to sell to other customers.

Brothels themselves helped these bandits to hide and sell stolen goods because of the special Ming Law that exempted brothels from being held responsible "for the criminal actions of their clients. Pawnshops were also often affiliated with fencing stolen goods. The owners or employees of such shops often paid cash for stolen goods at a price a great deal below market value to bandits, who were often desperate for money, and resold the goods to earn a profit.

In coastal regions, illegal trading with foreigners, as well as smuggling, became a huge concern for the government during the middle to late Ming era. In order to prohibit this crime, the government passed a law in which illegal smugglers who traded with foreigners without the consent of the government would be punished with exile to the border for military service. In areas where military troops were stationed, stealing and selling military property would result in a more severe punishment. In the Jiaqing time, a case was recorded of stealing and selling military horses. The emperor himself gave direction that the thieves who stole the horses and the people who helped to sell the horses would be put on cangue and sent to labor in a border military camp.

In the salt mines, the penalty for workers who stole salt and people who sold the stolen salt was the most severe. Anyone who was arrested and found guilty of stealing and selling government salt was put to death. During the Victorian era , criminals and gangs started to form organizations which would collectively become London's criminal underworld. Robb and Erin H. Donald Cressey 's Cosa Nostra model studied Mafia families exclusively and this limits his broader findings. Structures are formal and rational with allocated tasks, limits on entrance, and influence the rules established for organizational maintenance and sustainability.

Albini saw organized criminal behavior as consisting of networks of patrons and clients, rather than rational hierarchies or secret societies. The networks are characterized by a loose system of power relations. Each participant is interested in furthering his own welfare. Criminal entrepreneurs are the patrons and they exchange information with their clients in order to obtain their support. Clients include members of gangs, local and national politicians, government officials and people engaged in legitimate business. People in the network may not directly be part of the core criminal organization.

Kinship is seen as the basis of organized crime rather than the structures Cressey had identified; this includes fictive godparental and affinitive ties as well as those based on blood relations, and it is the impersonal actions, not the status or affiliations of their members, that define the group. Rules of conduct and behavioral aspects of power and networks and roles include the following:. Strong family ties are derived from the traditions of southern Italy, where family rather than the church or state is the basis of social order and morality. One of the most important trends to emerge in criminological thinking about OC in recent years is the suggestion that it is not, in a formal sense, "organized" at all.

Evidence includes lack of centralized control, absence of formal lines of communication, fragmented organizational structure. It is distinctively disorganized. For example, Seattle's crime network in the s and 80s consisted of groups of businessmen, politicians and of law enforcement officers. They all had links to a national network via Meyer Lansky , who was powerful, but there was no evidence that Lansky or anyone else exercised centralized control over them. While some crime involved well-known criminal hierarchies in the city, criminal activity was not subject to central management by these hierarchies nor by other controlling groups, nor were activities limited to a finite number of objectives.

The networks of criminals involved with the crimes did not exhibit organizational cohesion. Too much emphasis had been placed on the Mafia as controlling OC. The Mafia were certainly powerful but they "were part of a heterogeneous underworld, a network characterized by complex webs of relationships. Further studies showed neither bureaucracy nor kinship groups are the primary structure of organized crime, rather they were in partnerships or a series of joint business ventures. All observed networks and a degree of persistence, and there may be utility in focusing on the identification of organizing roles of people and events rather than the group's structure.

International consensus on defining organized crime has become important since the s due its increased prevalence and impact. OC is " It is frequently accomplished through ruthless disregard of any law, including offenses against the person and frequently in connection with political corruption. However, violence and corruption and the pursuit of multiple enterprises and continuity serve to form the essence of OC activity.

There are eleven characteristics from the European Commission and Europol pertinent to a working definition of organized crime. Six of those must be satisfied and the four in italics are mandatory. Summarized, they are:. Others stress the importance of power, profit and perpetuity, defining organized criminal behavior as:. Definitions need to bring together its legal and social elements. OC has widespread social, political and economic effects. It uses violence and corruption to achieve its ends: "OC when group primarily focused on illegal profits systematically commit crimes that adversely affect society and are capable of successfully shielding their activities, in particular by being willing to use physical violence or eliminate individuals by way of corruption.

It is a mistake to use the term "OC" as though it denotes a clear and well-defined phenomenon. The evidence regarding OC "shows a less well-organized, very diversified landscape of organizing criminals…the economic activities of these organizing criminals can be better described from the viewpoint of 'crime enterprises' than from a conceptually unclear frameworks such as 'OC'. OC may appear in many forms at different times and in different places. Some espouse that all organized crime operates at an international level, though there is currently no international court capable of trying offenses resulting from such activities the International Criminal Court's remit extends only to dealing with people accused of offenses against humanity, e.

The understanding of organized crime has therefore progressed to combined internationalization and an understanding of social conflict into one of power, control, efficiency risk and utility, all within the context of organizational theory. The accumulation of social, economic and political power [] have sustained themselves as a core concerns of all criminal organizations:.

Contemporary organized crime may be very different from traditional Mafia style, particularly in terms of the distribution and centralization of power, authority structures and the concept of 'control' over one's territory and organization. There is a tendency away from centralization of power and reliance upon family ties towards a fragmentation of structures and informality of relationships in crime groups. Organized crime most typically flourishes when a central government and civil society is disorganized, weak, absent or untrustworthy.

This may occur in a society facing periods of political, economic or social turmoil or transition, such as a change of government or a period of rapid economic development, particularly if the society lacks strong and established institutions and the rule of law. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Revolutions of in Eastern Europe that saw the downfall of the Communist Bloc created a breeding ground for criminal organizations. The newest growth sectors for organized crime are identity theft and online extortion.

These activities are troubling because they discourage consumers from using the Internet for e-commerce. E-commerce was supposed to level the playing ground between small and large businesses, but the growth of online organized crime is leading to the opposite effect; large businesses are able to afford more bandwidth to resist denial-of-service attacks and superior security. Furthermore, organized crime using the Internet is much harder to trace down for the police even though they increasingly deploy cybercops since most police forces and law enforcement agencies operate within a local or national jurisdiction while the Internet makes it easier for criminal organizations to operate across such boundaries without detection.

In the past criminal organizations have naturally limited themselves by their need to expand, putting them in competition with each other. This competition, often leading to violence, uses valuable resources such as manpower either killed or sent to prison , equipment and finances. He used this position to eliminate competition and consolidate power within the city of Boston which led to the imprisonment of several senior organized crime figures including Gennaro Angiulo , underboss of the Patriarca crime family. Infighting sometimes occurs within an organization, such as the Castellamarese war of —31 and the Boston Irish Mob Wars of the s and s.

Today criminal organizations are increasingly working together, realizing that it is better to work in cooperation rather than in competition with each other once again, consolidating power. This has led to the rise of global criminal organizations such as Mara Salvatrucha , 18th Street gang , and Barrio Azteca. This rise in cooperation between criminal organizations has meant that law enforcement agencies are increasingly having to work together.

Criminal psychology is defined as the study of the intentions, behaviors, and actions of a criminal or someone who allows themselves to participate in criminal behavior. The goal is understand what is going on in the criminal's head and explain why they are doing what they are doing. This varies depending on whether the person is facing the punishment for what they did, are roaming free, or if they are punishing themselves. Criminal psychologists get called to court to explain the inside the mind of the criminal.

This theory treats all individuals as rational operators, committing criminal acts after consideration of all associated risks detection and punishment compared with the rewards of crimes personal, financial etc. The role of criminal organizations in lowering the perceptions of risk and increasing the likelihood of personal benefit is prioritized by this approach, with the organizations structure, purpose, and activity being indicative of the rational choices made by criminals and their organizers. This theory sees criminal behavior as reflective of an individual, internal calculation [] by the criminal that the benefits associated with offending whether financial or otherwise outweigh the perceived risks.

The benefits of participating in organized crime higher financial rewards, greater socioeconomic control and influence, protection of the family or significant others, perceived freedoms from 'oppressive' laws or norms contribute greatly to the psychology behind highly organized group offending. Criminals learn through associations with one another. The success of organized crime groups is therefore dependent upon the strength of their communication and the enforcement of their value systems, the recruitment and training processes employed to sustain, build or fill gaps in criminal operations.

Interpersonal relationships define the motivations the individual develops, with the effect of family or peer criminal activity being a strong predictor of inter-generational offending. Under this theory, organized crime exists because legitimate markets leave many customers and potential customers unsatisfied. Under these conditions competition is discouraged, ensuring criminal monopolies sustain profits. Legal substitution of goods or services may by increasing competition force the dynamic of organized criminal operations to adjust, as will deterrence measures reducing demand , and the restriction of resources controlling the ability to supply or produce to supply. Sutherland goes further to say that deviancy is contingent on conflicting groups within society, and that such groups struggle over the means to define what is criminal or deviant within society.

Criminal organizations therefore gravitate around illegal avenues of production, profit-making, protectionism or social control and attempt by increasing their operations or membership to make these acceptable. The ability to effect social norms and practices through political and economic influence and the enforcement or normalization of criminogenic needs may be defined by differential association theory. Social disorganization theory is intended to be applied to neighborhood level street crime, [] thus the context of gang activity, loosely formed criminal associations or networks, socioeconomic demographic impacts, legitimate access to public resources, employment or education, and mobility give it relevance to organized crime. Where the upper- and lower-classes live in close proximity this can result in feelings of anger, hostility, social injustice and frustration.

Sociologist Robert K.

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