Administration of Justice 503
Fall semester 1993
Class meets Wednesday 6.30-9pm in 907 Oswald
Criminal enterprise is a general term for illegal activity known variously as organized or syndicate criminality. As such, this poses many serious problems for effective law enforcement. This course will focus on policy issues, but it is first essential to understand the real nature of organized crime, its distinctive structures, organization, and internal dynamics. A recurring theme of the course will be the need to understand and penetrate the many myths that surround organized crime in the United States and elsewhere.
The grade for the course will be based on two papers, plus class participation. Each paper will count 40% of the grade, while participation account for a further 20%. I will be expecting everyone to make oral presentations based on their papers, and to incorporate the resulting feedback into the final written versions.
For the two papers, I am expecting the following:
a. Due October 13
This should be a broad survey paper. It should take the form of an analysis of the structure and organization of a particular type of criminal activity in a particular region or city. If you choose New York or Chicago, there is so much material that you will need to focus in on one type of criminality, such as hijacking or securities theft. If you go elsewhere, you could attempt a general overview of organized criminality in a particular jurisdiction. In either case, this paper should be based primarily on official documents and government reports, backed up be newspaper materials. I want you to place special emphasis on providing a critical view of this material.
b. Ready for oral presentation by December 1; final written version due Dec. 14
The topic here is very much up to you. It might well grow out of paper one, and examine something there in considerably greater detail; but you might look at something completely different. I am flexible about topics, and will accept most reasonable subjects within the general scope of the course. I can also help you with reading lists and bibliography.
Note on resources:
Among standard official sources available in the Official Publications room in Pattee library, major documents include the reports of successive Congressional commissions investigating organized crime. Among the best known are:
Kefauver - Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, pursuant to S.R.202 (1950-1952)
McClellan - Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (1957-1959)
Narcotics - Senate Committee on Government operations: Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Narcotics (1963-1964)
Securities - The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations also had important hearings into the organized crime role in the business of stolen securities (1971, 1973)
Kaufman - The President's Commission on Organized Crime (1984-1986)
But you will certainly find other relevant material for particular topics. The Pennsylvania Crime Commission have also published a lot of useful material since 1967 or so, and their reports offer a substantial body of literature on the state.
In addition, for newspaper materials, Pattee library has some excellent computer facilities that allow you to do a rapid and thorough search of the leading newspapers of several major cities - at present, mainly for the 1980s. Go to the microfilm room and ask about them.
Both Fox and Abadinsky have excellent bibliographies that I will not duplicate here - especially where official documents are concerned.
1. Howard Abadinsky, Organized Crime (Chicago: Nelson Hall 1985, second edition, paperback) - ISBN 0-8304-1125-7
2. Stephen Fox, Blood and Power: Organized Crime in Twentieth Century America (New York: Penguin, paperback edition 1990) - ISBN 0-14-01.3438 7
In addition, there are a large number of relevant books on reserve in Pattee. These books vary enormously in their reliability, but they give a good picture of the state of research in the field.
1. August 25 Definitions and concepts. Historical overview. Myths and stereotypes.
I am assuming that you will read the whole of Fox and Abadinsky over the first few weeks of classes, as well as using Abadinsky as a reference work. Therefore, I have not spelled out readings for each and every class. These books are required to set you on the right track and to suggest directions for your own research.
2. Sept 1 Patterns of organized crime. Issues of conflict and centralization
3. Sept. 8 The Mafia Myth. Discussion of Fox book.
4. Sept 15 Organized crime and political machines.
5. Sept 22 Organized crime and the metropolitan economy
6. Sept 29 Old and new ethnic groups
7. Oct. 6 Gambling.
8. Oct. 13 Labor racketering and political corruption
9. Oct. 20 Drugs.
10. Oct. 27 The organized crime elite
11. Nov 3 Law-enforcement dilemmas
12. Nov 10 Legal and ethical issues
13. Nov 17 A comparative view
14-15. Dec. 1-8 Student presentations
I have asked for the following books to be put on reserve in Pattee. Please use them as appropriate for your papers.
Author Title Call number
Albanese Organized Crime in America HV6791.A57 1985
Albini The American Mafia HV6446.A35
Anderson The Business of Organized Crime HV6791.A76
Arlacchi Mafia Business HV6453.I8M3 1986
Block East Side, West Side HV6795.N5B57 1980
Block and Chambliss, Organizing Crime HV6030.B55
Blumenthal Last Days of the Sicilians HV6446.B58 1988
Chambliss On the Take HV6795.S5C45 1978
Cressey Theft of the Nation HV6791.C7
Davis Mafia Kingfish HV6248.M2964D38 1989
Demaris Boardwalk Jungle HV6721.A8D45 1986
Duggan Fascism and the Mafia HV6453.I83M327 1989
Gardiner The Politics of Corruption JS401.G36
Ianni Black Mafia HV6791.I2
Ianni A Family Business HV6448.I17
Kaplan and Dubro Yakuza HV6453.J33Y355 1986
McCoy Drug Traffic HV5840.A8M3
Messick Silent Syndicate HV6783.M4
Messick Syndicate in the Sun HV6483.D3M4
Messick Syndicate Wife HV6248.C662M4
Moldea Dark Victory PN1999.M33M6 1986
Nelli Business of Crime HV6791.N37 1981
Posner Warlords of Crime HV6453.H75P67 1988
Smith Mafia Mystique HV6446.S54
Wismer Sweethearts HD9715.C23T67