Application: Drug Trafficking Among Gangs and Organized
Much like the sale of alcohol during Prohibition, drug
trafficking, today, takes advantage of a market with high demand for illegal
substances—but on a global and more lucrative scale. Unfortunately, the
competition among gangs and organized crime groups, to monopolize these markets,
contributes to the use of violence to both maintain discipline within the gangs
and to intimidate—and even eliminate—competitors. For instance, when the
crack-cocaine epidemic hit inner-city areas of the U.S. in the mid-to-late
1980s, there was a huge spike in violent crime. This is due, in large part, to
gangs that were fighting to maintain control of selling drugs on their own turf.
Violence erupted when other gangs infringed on these demarcated areas.
Today, with international trafficking of heroin and cocaine, gangs and organized crime groups are even more protective of their territory. Any group or person who encroaches on their profits is likely to meet with violence or death. There are recent reports of entire families being murdered as a consequence of an international drug deal “gone bad,” when one party double-crossed the other. In this way, drug trafficking is one of the most violent business enterprises run by gangs and organized crime groups.
While preparing for this assignment:
Focus on the role that gangs play in trafficking drugs. Reflect on how drug trafficking contributes to violence.
Consider how the drug business facilitates violence among organized crime groups.
Review the article, “The Youth Gangs, Drugs, and Violence Connection.” Consider how gang involvement promotes and reinforces the use of drugs and violence.
Article: Howell, J. C., & Decker, S. H. (1999). The youth
gangs, drugs, and violence connection. U.S. Department of Justice: Juvenile
Justice Bulletin, January, 1–11. Retrieved from http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/93920.pdf
Consider the extent to which the involvement of gangs and organized crime groups in drug trafficking contributes to violence.
The Assignment (1–2 pages)