A study undertaken by the National Institute of Justice found that from one-half to three-fourths of the men arrested for serious in twelve major American cities tested positive for recent drug use. This was one of the major points highlighted by David Nurco, Timothy Kinlock, and Thomas Hanlon (2006) in their joint article The Drugs-Crime Connection. And a study of a good number of hard-core juvenile crack and cocaine users in Miami revealed that the adolescents confessed to an average of approximately 880 crimes each in the previous year.
This, on the other hand, is the nub of the article Drug Use and Street Crime in Miami: An (Almost) Twenty-Year Retrospective, by which James Inciardi and Anne Pottieger reviewed the research of the scholars of University of Delaware on the correlation of age, peers and gender with the street crimes (Woods and Woods, 2005). Such findings have indeed heightened interest among criminal justice officials, criminologists, and sociologists concerning the complex relationship between drugs and organized crime.
If drug abuse contributes to the nation’s syndicated crimes, then perhaps fighting the drug problem may be a cheaper way of reducing the crime rate than placing people in prison. Until recently, many academics, like Nurco, Kinlock, Hanlon, Inciardi, and Pottieger considered the study of the connections between syndicated crime and drug use as controversial and ideologically tinged. They revealed that in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the issue of drug use divided conservatives and liberals (Nurco, et al. , 2006).
However, by the mid-1980s, a consensus emerged among wide segments of American society that all drug use was detrimental and a dangerous sign (Saney, 1996). Given the ties between drugs and organized crimes, it is difficult to overlook the part that drug addiction plays in motivating criminal behavior. Clearly, programs dealing with crime problems will have to address drug problems. The programs in particular that have attracted interest are an increase in the nation’s commitment to drug rehabilitation, drug education, and community-policing initiatives to cope with the street drug trafficking problem.
Even so, none of these initiatives will solve the crime problem or end the drug-crime connection. People use drugs for a great many reasons, and not all people who use drugs are street criminals. Some, especially the pushers, come from or become part of syndicates. Moreover, there are many factors that contribute to criminal behavior (Nurco, et al. , 2006). However, organized crime is hardly an Italian monopoly. Irish and Jewish crime figures have long cooperated with the Mafia.
In New York and Philadelphia, black groups and the Mafia run gambling and narcotics operations in concert. In San Francisco and New York City, Chinese gangs shake down merchants and are involved in gambling, robberies drug trafficking, loan-sharking, labor racketeering, and prostitution; the self-proclaimed Israeli Mafia extorts money in Los Angeles; and Colombian and drug rings have flooded Florida with their products (Saney, 1996).
Effectual police force is fundamental in contending with drug trafficking, as both a local and large-scale organized crime. Government assistance subsumes advancing information exchange between state line-control and law enforcement organizations; backing in lawmaking drafting; the stipulation of progressive training systems such as computer-dependent exercise; and equipped and institutional capacity-building of above-board and law enforcement federations, with respect to inquiry, tribunal and arbitration of syndicated crimes (Sparks, et al. , 1996).
Viewed from the conflict perspective, organized crimes reflect the reality that society is an arena in which people struggle for privilege, prestige, and power, and advantaged group enforce their advantage through coercion. Accordingly, we need also ask, “Who reaps the lion’s share of benefits from particular social arrangement? ” Or, put another way, “how is society structured so that some groups are advantaged while other groups are disadvantaged and even stigmatized as deviant? ” (Hinkle, 2004).