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Posted: January 26th, 2023

Organized Crime: How Does It Affect Criminal Justice?

Organized Crime: How Does It Affect Criminal Justice?

Organized crime is a complex and pervasive phenomenon that poses serious challenges to the criminal justice system. Organized crime groups operate across national borders, exploit legal loopholes, and use sophisticated methods of communication, transportation, and money laundering. They engage in a variety of illicit activities, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, cybercrime, fraud, extortion, and corruption. These activities undermine the rule of law, threaten public safety and security, and erode public trust in the institutions of justice.

The criminal justice system faces several difficulties in combating organized crime. First, there is a lack of clear and consistent definitions of organized crime and its related concepts, such as transnational crime, terrorism, and gangs. This hampers the collection and analysis of reliable data on the nature, scope, and impact of organized crime. Second, there is a need for more effective cooperation and coordination among different agencies and jurisdictions involved in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of organized crime. This requires harmonizing legal frameworks, enhancing information sharing, and strengthening mutual legal assistance. Third, there is a need for more specialized training and resources for the personnel involved in the fight against organized crime. This includes developing skills in intelligence gathering, forensic analysis, digital evidence, witness protection, and asset recovery.

The criminal justice system can adopt several strategies to address these challenges and enhance its response to organized crime. One strategy is to adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach that combines law enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, and correctional measures with preventive and rehabilitative interventions. This approach should involve not only criminal justice actors, but also other stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society, and international organizations. Another strategy is to adopt a human rights-based approach that respects the rights and dignity of all persons involved in or affected by organized crime. This approach should ensure that the measures taken against organized crime are proportionate, legitimate, transparent, and accountable. A third strategy is to adopt a evidence-based approach that relies on empirical research and evaluation to inform policy making and practice. This approach should foster innovation and learning from best practices and lessons learned from different contexts.

Organized crime is a dynamic and evolving phenomenon that requires constant vigilance and adaptation from the criminal justice system. By adopting these strategies, the criminal justice system can enhance its effectiveness and efficiency in combating organized crime and protecting the public interest.


– Albanese J. (2018). Organized Crime: From the Mob to Transnational Organized Crime (8th ed.). New York: Routledge.
– Finckenauer J.O. (2020). I need help writing my dissertation in Organized Crime: A Very Short Introduction (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
– Levi M., Reuter P., & Halliday T. (2021). The Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
– UNODC (2019). Global Study on Organized Crime 2019: Executive Summary. Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


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