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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: CJAD 421
Course Title: Organized Crime
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Provides the student with a realistic concept and understanding of the problem of organized criminal activity in the United States. Focuses on theories and the evolution of traditional organized crime in America as well as examining the many new and emerging organized crime groups attempting to acquire a stronghold on domestic criminal enterprises. Prerequisites: CJAD 101 and junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): CJAD 101 and junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Occasional Offering.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many suitable textbooks are available from various publishers and the following list is not comprehensive. Other textbooks may be judged by individual instructors to be more suitable in meeting course objectives. Many current textbooks have companion websites, and the instructor is encouraged to enhance the course experience for the student by utilizing available technology.

Organized Crime
By Abadinsky, H. (Wadsworth Publishers)
Organized Crime
By Lyman, M., & G. Potter (Prentice Hall)
Organized Crime: World Perspectives
By Albanese, J., Das, D., & Verma, A. (Prentice Hall)
Course Objectives
  • To understand organized criminal activity in the United States and abroad.
  • To understand traditional and non-traditional organized crime groups.
  • To gain experience with common legal framework involved in the investigation of organized crime and related offenses.
  • To understand terminology used by governments, theorists and professionals in the field of organized crime.
  • To understand the competing goals in identifying and investigating organized crime groups and those involved with them.
  • To demonstrate critical thinking, research and writing skills in organized crime issues.
  • To delve into contemporary research in the area of organized crime.
    Measurable Learning
  • Define organized crime as a concept.
  • Explain the theoretical framework of organized crime.
  • Describe the history of organized crime.
  • Describe the concept of labor racketeering.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current political and social problems and issues as they relate to the existence of organized crime.
  • Describe the hierarchy of traditional organized crime.
  • Describe the role of crime commissions that have addressed organized crime.
  • Describe the constitutional limitations upon investigating organized criminal activity.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of vice crime, victimless crimes and organized crime.
  • Appraise current literature, materials and developments regarding organized crime.
    Topical Outline: In an effort to better prepare students for future educational pursuits and professionalism in their chosen fields, it is highly recommended that all courses bearing the CJAD prefix contain both a writing and speech communication component. Formal writing projects should be prepared in APA format.

  • Understanding organized crime
  • Theories of organized criminal behavior
  • The evolution of organized crime
  • The businesses of organized crime
  • The illicit drug trade
  • Domestic organized crime groups
  • Foreign-based organized crime groups
  • Terrorism as organized crime
  • Political and corporate alliances
  • Measures to control organized crime

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Michael Lyman Date: April 20, 2005
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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