- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime
- List of Contributors
- Organized Crime: A Contested Concept
- Theoretical Perspectives on Organized Crime
- Searching for Organized Crime in History
- How to Research Organized Crime
- The Italian Mafia
- The Italian-American Mafia
- the Russian Mafia: Rise and Extinction
- Organized Crime in Colombia: The Actors Running the Illegal Drug Industry
- Mexican Drug “Cartels”
- Chinese Organized Crime
- The Japanese Yakuza
- Nigerian Criminal Organizations
- Gangs Another Form of Organized Crime?
- Opportunistic Structures of Organized Crime
- Organizing Crime: The State as Agent
- The Social Embeddedness of Organized Crime
- Protection and Extortion
- Drug Markets and Organized Crime
- Human Smuggling, Human Trafficking, and Exploitation in the Sex Industry
- Illegal Gambling
- Money Laundering
- Arms Trafficking
- Organized Fraud
- The Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources
- Organized Crime Control in the United States of America
- U.S. Organized Crime Control Policies Exported Abroad
- European Union Organized Crime Control Policies
- The Fight Against the Italian Mafia
- Organized Crime Control in Australia and New Zealand
- Organized Crime “Control” in Asia: Experiences from India, China, and the Golden Triangle
- Finance-Oriented Strategies of Organized Crime Control
Abstract and Keywords
This essay explains the success that the United States has had in dismantling the Italian-American Mafia or Cosa Nostra (LCN) crime families. Most important is the FBI’s determination to eliminate LCN and the FBI’s independence from political interference. FBI investigators and federal agents have also been able to rely on powerful investigative tools, including electronic eavesdropping, informants and cooperating witnesses. Organized crime defendants can be preventively detained pending trial. The RICO (Racketeer and Corrupt Organizations) law facilitates effective prosecution and authorizes long, even life, prison terms. While good reason exists to trust the prevailing view that LCN is no more than a shadow of its former self, there has been no systematic evaluation of the current status of Italian-American organized crime. iI the definition of the organized crime problem is broadened to include hundreds of other ethnic factions and street gangs, successful organized crime control is much more problematic.
James Barrett Jacobs is the Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts at New York University School of Law, where he has been a faculty member since 1982. He is a specialist in criminal law, criminal procedure and criminal justice.
Elizabeth A. Dondlinger Wyman, New York County District Attorney's Office
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