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Word Count: 641
Organized Crime Characteristics 1 First by definition organized crime is comprised of participants who incorporate themselves into more or less complex systems for the purpose of committing crimes 2 The second attribute of organized crime is its instrumental nature Instrumental crimes are defined as illegal acts committed when individuals unable to obtain desired goods and services through conventional means resort to crimes-for-profit Organized crime exists for the sole purpose of making money 3 Organized crime at its core offers illegal goods and services in order to make profits -- examples are illegal gambling prostitution pornography loan-sharking bootlegging and fees for protection in the form of extortion Murders within the world of organized crime are generally committed to ensure the ongoing survival and profitability of the organization Organized crime has also been known to promote other crimes-for-profit such as bank robbery hijacking labor racketeering burglary and arson 4 An important characteristic of organized crime is its connections with government and politics Political corruption graft is a critical part of the survival of the business of organized crime Graft greases the governmental machine from politicians and judges to law enforcement officials The payoff ensures the widespread power and profitability of organized crime Note that graft generally falls into one of two categories clean or dirty a Clean graft is comprised of payoffs that allow participants in organized crime to run certain non-violent and so-called victimless rackets such bookmaking prostitution rings and occasionally labor racketeering Clean graft also comes in the form of payments for forgiveness of minor transgressions such as parking tickets or liquor violations b Dirty graft is money offered to cover up murder rape armed robbery or drug trafficking It should be understood that most law enforcement officials would not accept dirty graft The line between clean and dirty graft is however illusory -- clean graft ensures the survival of the victimless rackets which in turn fund more serious crimes
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