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Process of Elimination - Understanding Organized Crime Violence

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 45 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1981) Pages: 26-31
J J Dintino; F T Martens
Date Published
6 pages
A strategy for controlling organized crime violence is proposed, based upon an analysis of conflict resolution in licit and illicit markets.
Organizations in both licit and illicit markets seek to maximize profits by increasing their dominance in various consumer markets. In the licit market, laws and courts are used to resolve conflicts in accordance with certain socioeconomic values. In illicit markets, conflict may be resolved by paying off police, other criminal justice personnel, and politicians to harass competitors, or violence may be used to intimidate or eliminate competitors. With the achievement of stability in a particular illicit market, the need for violence is reduced because of the cessation of competition and conflict. Since the elimination of organized crime is not a realistic goal, given the consumer demand for many outlawed goods and services, one goal of organized crime control should be to reduce the social harm caused by underworld violence. This can be done by facilitating illicit market stability under the dominance of criminal syndicates not prone to use violence in their enterprises. Such an acceptance of an organized monopoly in an illicit market may not cause excessive socioeconomic harm so long as activities are confined to transactions between providers and consumers, such as in gambling or prostitution. Basically, law enforcement efforts could be directed specifically against those criminal organizations that use violence in an attempt to control the market, thus leaving the market to those competitors who refrain from violence. Sixteen footnotes are listed.