Organized Crime – Essay Example

Organized Crime in the United s: A Current Perspective Ron Steele XYZ This paper will first examine the overall of organized crime in today’s society. Next, we will examine the impact that organized crime has on our society. Finally, we will focus on laws that attempt to target and regulate the issue.
Organized crime is a rapidly growing concern in recent years, according to a study by the United States Department of Justice (2008). The scope of the problem is extensive, and encompasses such areas as the banking and financial institutions; national border security; trading and commodities markets; cybercrime; drug trafficking; trafficking of women and children; and overall society corruption and violence (US Department of Justice, 2008). The impact is great enough for it to be termed a serious national security issue that requires coordinated strategic planning at the national and international government level (US Department of Justice, 2008).
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (2008), organized crime is making new disturbing trends including: (1) Organized crime has entered the energy and other strategic sectors of the economy. As a result, members of international organized crime now control portions of the global energy and strategic materials market that are critical to U.S. security. Their activities disrupt the normal operations of the markets, and have a negative effect on U.S. geopolitical interests. (2) Organized crime gives logistical and other support to terrorists and foreign intelligence. These types of criminal groups have consistently showed openness to give logistical support to terrorists. (3) Organized crime trafficks a variety of things including drugs, weapons, and humans; yet, their overriding motive for any of their activities is a large monetary profit and greed. In addition, the criminals are good at examining and exploiting weaknesses in existing control structures for their own monetary gains (U.S. Department of Justice, 2008).
Key modern issues with organized crime are: (1) globalization and the internet allow criminals to operate from not only the United States, but almost any country of their choosing. These criminals can live in countries who will shield them from arrest, while targeting illegal activities here in the United States; (2) international organized crime is ultimately far removed from ‘street activity’. The groups are very sophisticated, very wealthy, and have powerful international businessmen and lobbyists as key contacts; (3) the evolution of the industry is away from the older traditional hierarchical structure to a more ‘loosely defined’ networking structure (State of New Jersey, 2010).
The negative impact on society is increasingly large. The strong demand for illegal goods and services make crime and accompanying violence ever more threatening to our society. In addition, the techniques used to satisfy the demand for illegal goods and services are more sophisticated and dangerous than in prior years. As previously mentioned, the use of the internet has allowed for a borderless and global expansion. Various encoding and encryption techniques for computer-based activities scramble signals and make detection more difficult and increase the scope of the problem. The myriad of activities that organized criminals participate in; whether narcotics trafficking or human trafficking has a profoundly negative affect on our society (State of New Jersey, 2010).
Research has been performed as recent as this year on the state of current law in regards organized crime (Finklea, 2010). Law enforcement in the United States and other countries are working to address issues posed by organized crime. In 2005, the United States agreed to become part of the United Nations Convention against Organized Crime, along with another 137 countries that joined. The goals have been to require mutual assistance between countries, and to require extradition for organized crimes as outlined by the Convention. Efforts here in the United States are refocusing. In 2008, the Organized Crime Council in the United States reconvened for the first time in 15 years. Currently, Congress has proposed laws to enhance the long existing laws pertaining to money laundering and asset forfeiture. Policies are in place to combat organized crime, and better ones being proposed, yet attention needs to be given to monetary and personnel resources as those are scarcer. (Finklea, 2010).

References
Finklea, Krisitin. (2010). Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for
Congress. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40525.pdf Web. accessed 2 September
2010.
State of New Jersey. (2004). The Changing Face of Organized Crime in New Jersey: A Status
Report, 1-164 http://www.state.nj.us/sci/pdf/ocreport.pdf Web. accessed 2 September
2010.
U.S. Department of Justice. (2008). Overview of the Law Enforcement Strategy to Combat
International Organized Crime, 1-17
http://www.justice.gov/ag/speeches/2008/ioc-strategy-public-overview.pdf Web. accessed 2
September 2010.