You may notice that gangs and organized crime groups are often referred to in the same sentence as if they are synonymous or interchangeable. This is understandable, because these two groups share many of the same characteristics. For example, both engage in illegal activities and often use violence. There are, however, some differences between the structures, activities, membership, and cultures of gangs and organized crime groups. As you explore the definitions of gangs and organized crime groups in the Learning Resources this week, you will come to your own conclusion about how they are similar and different.
To prepare for this assignment:
Consider the various definitions of gangs, and reflect on some of the common themes that are found in all of these definitions. Also, determine where gangs are located domestically.
Consider the definition of organized crime and what makes organized crime groups “organized.” Also, reflect on the spread of organized crime both internationally and domestically.
Identify major differences between gangs and organized crime groups.
Identify key similarities between gangs and organized crime groups.
The assignment (1–2 pages):
Compare and contrast gangs and organized crime groups.
Explain at least one insight you had, or conclusion you drew, about gangs and organized crime groups based on completing this assignment.