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Organized Crime in the United States: A Review of the Public Record

NCJ Number
Date Published
830 pages

This document provides an extensive overview of the history and activities of and law enforcement response to organized crime in the United States.


Historical materials cover investigations and organized crime control activities undertaken from 1950 to 1980, including the Kefauver and McClellan investigations, activities under the Kennedy administration, and the organized crime program. The origins of the national crime syndicate (the Mafia) are traced, with attention to the emergence of major crime families and underworld figures. Also described is the involvement of organized crime in violence (including gang- and drug-related violence); legislative, executive, and criminal justice system corruption; and national and international trafficking in heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and other dangerous substances. The document examines activities in gambling (bookmaking, lotteries, casinos), loansharking, theft and fencing, and the legitimate economy (arson, prostitution, labor racketeering). Materials on each of these activities provide technical and background information and detail the scope of the problem, patterns of activity, modes of operation, changes over time, and the law enforcement response. Illustrative case studies also are provided. Extensive chapter footnotes and references.

Date Published: January 1, 1982