Criminal Organizations – cja393 (3 credits)

This course is a survey of the origins and development of organized crime in the United States. It examines the structure and activities of organized criminal enterprises, considers different models that have been employed to describe organized crime groups, and explores theories that have been advanced to explain the phenomenon. Major investigations of organized crime and legal strategies that have been developed to combat it are also considered.

This undergraduate-level course is 5 weeks. This course is available as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Understanding Organized Crime

  • Compare the various models that explain the structure of organized crime groups.
  • Describe the attributes of organized crime and its common behavior categories.
  • Define organized crime.

Theories of Organized Criminal Behavior

  • Evaluate empirical and speculative theories that have been used to explain organized criminal behavior.
  • Explain the perspective of organized crime as a social institution.

The Evolution of Organized Crime and the Drug Business

  • Analyze the social disorganization in mid-19th-century American history that created the climate for certain types of organized crime.
  • Describe the history, structure, and multi-national operating methods of the drug business.
  • Analyze the relationship between organized crime, prohibition, and early drug syndicates.
  • Identify changes in the various business interests of organized crime over the last 150 years.
  • Explain the role of corrupt political machines in fostering organized crime.
  • Explain the evolution of organized crime.

Organized Crime's Political and Corporate Alliances

  • Describe the legal limitations of law enforcement and intelligence agencies in dealing with organized crime.
  • Critique major federal laws and strategies that have been developed to combat organized crime.
  • Assess the effectiveness of organized crime prosecutions.
  • Hypothesize possible future trends in organized crime at national and international levels.
  • Explain the relationship of organized crime to politics, business, and the law.

A Comparative Perspective on Organized Crime

  • Analyze the scope of domestic organized crime groups and identify their interrelationships.
  • Explain the relationship between early ethnic or racially organized crime and contemporary youth gangs.
  • Compare and contrast the political, ideological, and religious origins of organized crime groups.
  • Analyze the relationship between organized crime and terrorist activity.
  • Identify the prominent terrorist organizations worldwide.
  • Explain the political, social, and financial motivations of terrorist groups.

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