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Prediction and Control of Organized Crime: A Risk Assessment Instrument for Targeting Law Enforcement Efforts

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2001
43 pages
Publication Series
This report presents an organized crime risk assessment instrument model in the prediction and prevention of organized crime by making a connection from a single incident to a larger criminal conspiracy.
Incidents of murder, human smuggling, and drug trafficking are typical of how people learn about organized crime. The crime is usually discovered at the “street” level, long after the planning, conspiracy, and organization have occurred. There are two problems faced by law enforcement: (1) is the body, person, or suspect really connected to organized crime or simply an individual law violation and (2) how does a particular incident fit into the larger picture of organized crime in the area; how does it compare in seriousness and risk. There are five ways in which the prediction and control of organized crime can be achieved more effectively: (1) improvements to data collection; (2) utilizing a team approach to gather information; (3) the application of a risk assessment instrument to target law enforcement efforts; (4) understanding the parameters of such an instrument; and (5) connecting organized crime risk assessment to the implementation of law and policy. These are practical ways in which organized crime activity can be better anticipated, investigated, and prevented. With teams of investigators, researchers, and analysts and through better information from offenders, victims, and police connecting isolated incidents to organized crime is possible. An organized crime risk assessment tool is presented offering systematic analysis of opportunity factors, the criminal environment, and harm potential among the 17 risk factors identified. Risk assessment can evaluate the influence of organized crime in local jurisdictions, and the impact of new laws and policies that affect commerce and criminal opportunities.

Date Published: January 1, 2001