Criminal Justice Assignment Paper on Crime Organization Models

Crime Organization Models

There are two kinds of organized crime models within the field of criminal justice, namely; bureaucratic and patron-client models. According to Perry (2017), the bureaucratic organization model is described as a process that is stringent in enforcing the law. On the other hand, the patron-client model is based on breaking the law. There are various differences between the two models. However, there are some similarities that exist between the two groups. This paper offers an in-depth exploration of the dissimilarities and similarities between the bureaucratic and patron-client models of organized crime. It as well as explains the significance of the models in understanding crime.


A patron-client organization is an organized crime group that involves the exchange of materials through a hierarchy of bosses and prominent political individuals. According to Lyman and Potter (2015), this structure comprises of the main boss, an underboss, an advisor, captain, as well as members of the group. On the other hand, a bureaucratic organizational structure is more formal than a patron-client organization. The organization has stringent regulations; consequently, no decision is made without the approval of the influential individuals across the board. A patron-client organization holds each member financially accountable as it depends on each person through the hierarchy to succeed. However, a bureaucratic organization holds its delegated administrators responsible for financial issues.

Similarities and Differences

The first difference between a patron-client and a bureaucratic organization is the delegation of responsibilities. According to Mallory (2012), in a patron-client organization, the director is responsible for making organizational decisions and receives the biggest share of profits. Additionally, the director delegates duties to the underbosses, who issue orders to their captains. The captains and their members are tasked with implementing and actualizing the goals set. The hierarchal structure protects the main boss (director) from direct threats from law enforcement agencies. Al Capone’s mafia family, known as the Sinaloa Cartel, is an example of such a structure. On the other hand, a bureaucratic organization bases its delegation of responsibilities and duties as per the options provided by the administrators. The appointed officials analyze what is needed to be done, and then allocate the duties to the individuals or groups within the organization that are best placed to produce the desired results.

Despite the differences highlighted, there are similarities between the two structures. The purpose of both the patron-client and bureaucratic organized crime mobs is extorting the community for profit. The bureaucratic crime encompasses coordinators that set rules and regulations, mostly based on guiding the groups within the organization to deal with allocated responsibilities diligently. Therefore, they offer protection to all the members involved. Despite the lack of stringent regulations, a patron-client also uses its hierarchy structure to protect its members. Therefore, both organizations protect their members using their structural arrangement. Other than protection, both structures have an individual who is mandated to monitor the success of the organization. According to Barkan (2009), criminal gangs or organized criminal organizations are engaged in some illegal trades that include extortion, drug dealing, murder, as well as arms dealing among other practices. With such a variety of activities, there is need to find an ex-checker who is best set to ensure that every individual involved works to the benefit of the organization. The said person is known as an enforcer.

Significance of Studying Patron-Client and Bureaucratic Organization Models in Understanding Organized Crime

It is essential to study both organized crime models to obtain significant information pertaining relevant individuals. According to Mallory, (2012), law enforcement officers require a wide-range of information to develop new strategies in reference to detecting, preventing, and deterring or arresting individuals involved in organized crime. According to Downes, Rock, & McLaughlin (2016), individuals such as Al Capone, Jaquin El Chapo Guzman, and Pablo Escobar are famous due to their sophistication in running organized crime syndicates. However, each one of them has faced a fate that is based on the information that has been gathered through studies on both patron-client and bureaucratic organizational models. Additionally, law enforcement officers use information from a variety of studies on organized crime syndicate models to protect assets, apprehend wrongdoers, as well as eliminate illegal trade to reduce the influence of criminal gangs in the society. Additionally, criminal psychologists also require information provided from such a study in order to understand what drives organized crime members to behave as they do and consequently provide help to such individuals in the rehabilitation process.


In summary, organized crime has been part of the criminal world for centuries; however, organized criminal group syndicates have been growing with time. Throughout the paper two primary organized crime models have been discussed namely patron-client organization model and bureaucratic organization models. The two models have a variety of differences in reference to structure and delivery of obligations. However, both models share a similarity when it comes to protection of its members and enforcement. The pain purpose of studying these models is that information derived from such researches helps law enforcement officers crack down on gang related or organize crime activities making the society safer.


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