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Crime that pays Readings Summary for Final
Crime that pays Readings Summary for Final

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University of Waterloo
SOC 229
Fred Desroches

Chapter 1: Drug Trafficking ­ drug laws are difficult to enforce since drug offences do not have a victim per se ­ involves importation, manufacturing, cultivation, distribution and/or sale of illicit drugs ­ hierarchical system ­ in order to conduct business, dealers need a reliable connection ­ traffickers use term supplier or source to refer to the person above them in the distribution chain and from whom they purchase their drugs ­ distributor or wholesaler refer to dealers who purpose drugs in large quantities to sell to other dealers ­ dealers who sell directly to users are retailers, pushers, lower level dealers, street level dealers ­ dealing network describes the ongoing interaction, agreement, and contacts that dealers have with others in the trade ­ retailing is more dangerous ­ drug traffickers are in minimum institutions, most of them are not career criminals, or violent The Structure and Organization of Retail Drug Selling ­ not employed or paid by others ­ conducted by independent entrepreneurs ­ retail markets are open, fluid and competitive ­ make their connections through word of mouth ­ drugs are not pushed they are dealt to friends ­ most are male, sell small quantities of drugs, occasional dealing while engaging in legitimate job, sell to a limited number of friends, and use small amount of money earned from this to supplement income from work ­ more accurately characterized as “moonlighters” b/c they hold intermittent, unskilled legitimate jobs in the labor market ­ primary motive of them is to offset the costs of their own usage or addiction ­ typically use drugs first then drift into dealing ­ many have low level of education and profitable jobs are limited ­ anomie theory applies and drug sales can be viewed as an adaption to the lack of education and job skills and limited access to decent paying work ­ high proportion are nonusers and traffic for profit only ­ most are engaged in frequent sales to a large number of clients, assaults are common and drug dealing is a full time job ­ main motive is to maintain a consistent supply of drugs and to offset their high cost Wilson and Abrahamse makes the case that crime doesn’t pay is correct o that these things are only short term Higher-Level drug Traffickers ­ more careful and secretive ­ upper level involves variety of activities, importing drugs, manufacturing drugs, it can involve cultivation ­ “well connected” a good source of supply and good working relationship with other traffickers, or suppliers and distributors ­ inmates who did the interview b/c the topic was highly relevant to their life experiences, interview provided a break from normal prison routine, recognized the legitimacy of university research ­ interviews lasted 4-5 hours Theoretical Frameworks ­ network analysis, opportunity theory, social learning theories, strain/anomie theory, and rational choice theories 1 ­ social theorists assume criminal contacts, skills and opportunities are obtained through interaction with other ­ most gain their position through direct entry and that opportunity is based on criminal associates, ethnic networks and entrepreneurial attitude and business contacts ­ theory of anomie suggests that certain groups of people-primarily those of lower lass- consider crime as an alternative means of obtaining money ­ rational choice theory considers the dealers perspective in order to understand motives, M.O and decision making o viewed as instrumentally rational actors who choose specific behaviors that will max benefit and min costs ­ the expected utility model views offenders as no different from other citizens and that individuals behave as if thy are aware of all possible outcomes Chapter 3: Organized Crime and Higher-level Drug Trafficking The Mafia Model of Organized Crime ­ organized crime is “mafia” or “la cosa nostra” an organization alleged to be controlled by a powerful group of Italian-Americans through a national syndicate with interactional connections ­ uses violence to control of illegal markets by driving away competitors ­ the image of mafia is fictional and inaccurate as people think Joseph Albini refers to this traditional model as the “evolution centralization perspective” b/c it depicts the Mafia as evolving from earlier forms of Italian criminal organizations, ­ also referred to as alien conspiracy” model b/c it lacks the accuracy and empirical evidence ­ Bell argued that organized crime is a ladder of mobility for immigrants and minorities who are denied across to legitimate channels of success o Ethnic succession Organized Crime Definition ­ Involves a criminal conspiracy of several people motivated for the purpose of economic enrichment ­ illicit activities include trafficking in narcotics, running illegal gambling operations, involvement in sex trade and smuggling ­ highest profit but least amount of risk b/c they involve consensual activities with no victims to complain to the police ­ b/c there is laws, it causes them to reduce supply and push up prices The Network Model of Organized Crime ­ organized crime needs a structure to provide a constant supply to product to customers ­ operates largely through network structures in which individuals are organized into small groups or cells and do business with people they know and trust ­ dealers use friendship, kinship and ethnic networks to select partners, employees, suppliers and distributors Transnational Organized Crime ­ criminal network that transcend national boundaries Naylor challenges the belief that large cartels control the production and distribution of illicit drugs in source countries ­ defines cartel as a conspiracy in restraint of trade, an illegal clique o restrict quantity, divide up the market and push up prices Economic Models of Organized Crime ­ economic theory provides 2 closely related models that provide a basis for analyzing organized crime ­ - the market model focuses on the nature of criminal markets, whereas the enterprise model analyzes the manner in which criminal enterprises behave in criminal markets o both assume that criminals are rational actors who constantly seek new opportunities to max profits 2 ­ market model focuses on the dynamics of supply and demand whether they are local or global ­ enterprise model emphasizes the business dimension of organized crime and the similarity between illicit and legitimate enterprise o both licit and illicit firms behave in similar ways: focus on profit, seek out economic opportunities, make rational judgments about investment, and attempt to min their risks Drug Trafficking as Business Enterprise ­ drug trafficking has much in common with legitimate business ­ to be successful. They must provide a quality product at competitive prices and maintain a reputation for reliable and trustworthy service ­ do not conceptualize their activities as organized crime ­ drug trafficking crews, 1-2 people will be in charge and employ 2-3 others who are delegated high-risk tasks and work on a commission or a fee-for service basis The Present study: Criminal Background and Employment History ­ fall into two types businessmen traffickers (71.4%) who live relatively law aiding lives and criminal traffickers (28.5%) who have extensive criminal involvement and deviant lifestyles ­ all businessmen were employed before their arrest and most owned or had a previously owned small business o typically have lengthy employment histories or business experiences o most have families, homes in middle class and present themselves as successful businessmen ­ 22 of the businessmen had no criminal record, 9 had minor and 19 are serving their second sentence ­ career criminal became involved in crime at a young age, all reported they rarely worked or never did under legitimate employment o 80% have been convicted for serious offences Drug Trafficking as Independent Entrepreneurship ­ - suppliers do not control distributors, clients nor do they control the drug chain o they control the access to the products that dealers needed to stay in business ­ clients can change their suppliers elsewhere if they choose ­ distributors usually approach his supplier and negotiate for better quality products or price discounts to math those offered by others ­ entrepreneurial model of drug dealing is consistent with opportunity theory b/c the process of becoming a drug dealer is often an opportunistic extension of a person’s life/business experiences and entrepreneurial attitudes and skills Chapter 4: The Motivation of Lifestyle of Higher-Level drug Traffickers Initial Involvement in Drug Trafficking Learning Theories of Crime ­ initial involvement in higher level drug trafficking occurs through contact with other dealers ­ subjects learn values, rationalization, and M.O from successful criminals who introduce them to the game and provide opportunities for entry ­ take one of the three paths into higher-level trafficking: moving from retail sales to wholesale; direct entry by way of recruitment, or direct entry through active solicitation ­ for retailers, they have connections and often become a drug retailer without much thought o 35.7% in this study began as street level dealers and moved into wholesale drugs o but that requires a conscious decision, planning, opportunity ­ 64.3% began their criminal involvement through direct entry o approached by friend who presented them with a chance to make money Rational Choice Theory and Crime ­ expected utility model is based on the assumption that offenders rationally attempt to max the rewards 3 ­ rational choice theory is used to analyze the decision-making process ­ best suited for offences like theft, burglary, and drug trafficking ­ limited-rational approach portrays criminal behavior as the outcome of choices and asserts that decisions made by offenders exhibit limited or bounded rather than normative rationality ­ bounded rationality hypothesis assumes tat limitations on peoples ability or process info place constraints on decision processes that forces them to make shortcuts that appear reasonable at the time ­ lower-level dealers exhibit limited rationality and take huge risks for very modest rewards ­ higher level carefully weight the risks vs rewards and develop a M.O that emphasizes safety and profits ­ many make more than 10k per month Anomie Theory and Motivation ­ argues that cultural system encourages everyone to pursue the ideal goals of middle class status ­ most higher-level drug traffickers have decent incomes and are motivated by greed, high status and a wealthy lifestyle Opportunity Theory and Entry into higher-level drug trafficking ­ most are initiated into crime through higher level dealers who provide them with supply and opportunity to learn tricks ­ majority of subjects used two main ports of entry into higher level drug trafficking: by way of ethnic based networks and through employment and business opportunities ­ cocaine originates in south America and makes it way to Canada Stages In the Move from Retail to Wholesale ­ opportunity theory says that a dealer must have access to and recognize opportunity when it presents itself o must search for or create opportunity to move up the chain o requires access to a reliable supplier ­ dealers who move into wholesale realize they are becoming more deeply involved in drug dealing as a living ­ moving into wholesale often requires sufficient funds to purpose large quantities of products, they must have ability to earn a profit and discipline to save money for investment ­ another reason for moving up is to escape the problems encountered with users and addicts Social Control Theories and Family Relationships ­ most of them were raised in loving families ­ most of them spent their money on wives, children and parents ­ most common purchase was a new or more luxurious home ­ family members are typically unaware of the criminal involvement of their husband Social Bonding Theory an
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