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CRMJ 4010 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

CRMJ 4010 - Organized Crime

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

Organized crime refers to criminal activity involving multiple offenders who operate in a structured manner for purposes of sustaining profits from an illegal activity. There are different forms of organized crime with the more conventional image being that of illegal activities committed by basically criminal organizations such as the Mafia, Triads, the Vory, etc. However, another form of highly organized crime is that which is committed by otherwise legitimate organizations such as corporations. Since this course is entitled organized crime, not "crime organizations," we will explore both forms of the problem looking for common threads of causation and control.

The course in divided into five modules of approximately three weeks (two weeks in the summer term) in length. For each module, students will have to complete three (3) essential activities:

1. Take a timed, online, multiple-choice quiz over assigned readings in the textbook, the instructor's notes/remarks, and additional assigned readings from the internet. Since we will be covering topics and forms of organized crime not found in conventional textbooks, be sure to read any instructor's notes/remarks and assigned sources outside of your textbook in preparation for each module's quiz.

2. Complete assignments, which are not timed, that include essay questions on subject matter contained in the module. As indicated, you may work on these throughout the duration of the module. Please note that the word length for each essay is the minimum required for an average grade. To get an above average grade (80s and up) requires more elaboration -- be creative, expand on your ideas. Also, as stated here and elsewhere, deadlines are strictly enforced and "extra credit" work is not accepted.

3. Become involved in online discussions with your classmates throughout the period of the module.

Course Outcomes:

1. Provide students with a conceptual framework for studying the problem of organized crime.

2. Present students with the historical background of organized crime.

3. Provide an overview of various criminal organizations and their activities.

4. Present a concept of organized crime that includes the highly organized and immensely profitable crimes of otherwise legitimate corporations.

5. Explore various control measures and policies for managing the illegal activities of essentially criminal organizations and the organized crimes of legitimate organizations.

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

SOCI 1010

Course Topics:

will include: 1. The distinction between organized crime and criminal organizations: definitions and theoretical overview.

2. Organized crime committed by criminal organizations

     a. Sicilian mafia, the Albanian connection and terrorism

     b. role of immigration and urban politics

     c. emergence of the American Mafia

     d. other groups, foreign and domestic origins, e.g.,

          (1) Latin drug cartels and narco-terrorism

          (2) Russian "mafia"

          (3) Asian organizations

          (4) African American groups

          (5) Outlaw bikers

3. Organized crime committed by otherwise legitimate organizations

     a. white collar crime as organized crime

     b. the robber barons

     c. organized corporate crime

4. Controlling organized crime

     a. common threads that connect the major forms of organized crime

     b. legislation and the analysis of crime producing market structures

     c. law enforcement responses

The course is divided into five-three week modules. Students must complete all course work for each

module prior to the end of each three week period.

Specific Course Requirements:

The student must have a basic knowledge of computers, the Internet, and email. The student's computer must have Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat reader.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

The student's computer must have Microsoft Word, Powerpoint Viewer, and Adobe Acrobat reader.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

The course is divided into five three-week modules. Students will have to take a timed, online multiple choice quiz for each module and complete assignments, including essays, which will not be timed. Students may take the quiz and submit the module's assignments anytime during the three weeks but must have completed all module materials (quiz, assignment and discussion participation) by the deadline set for each module

Grading Procedures:

The grade will be based on quiz scores, assignment quality and level of participation for each module. Grading for the discussion aspect of each module will be based on the quality and quantity (frequency) that a student posts and reads what others have posted relative to the level of activity of the class as a whole. I monitor all discussions but generally do not get involved so as to keep it a flow of YOUR thoughts and opinions. No single aspect of the course constitutes a majority of one's grade as indicated below. However, please note that over 80% of your grade will come from quiz scores (45%) and assignments (40%).

Modular Segment                              Percentage of Course Grade

Quizzes                                                                          45%  

Assignments                                                                  40%

Discussion                                                                     15%

All work must be consistently completed in a conscientious manner within the deadlines if one is to be eligible for a satisfactory grade or above, i.e., an A, B, or C.

The chat room is to be used for students to receive help and clarification from the instructor, and to

discuss assignments and projects with other students. It is not a part of the course that is required or graded.

Grading Scale:

Grading: (Quizzes 45%, Essay Questions and Assignments 40%, Discussion Participation 15%)

A = 90 -100;

B = 80-89;

C = 70-79;

D = 60-69;

F = 00-59.

Assignments and Projects:

1. Each module will have required reading from which quiz questions will be drawn. The quiz will include material from the textbook plus instructor's notes/remarks and any additional assigned readings.

2. Students will have to take an online, timed multiple-choice quiz for each three-week module.

3. Students will have to complete assignments, often including essays, short exercises or projects, for each three-week module.

Class Participation:

Students will have to actively participate in five discussions, each lasting three weeks. Students are also expected to regularly check their email for information provided by the instructor. I do not include chat room participation in grading, because I want well thought out remarks when students address course content. The chat room is for clarification and casual interaction between/among students. Individuals are expected to disagree in their discussion posts, but they should at all times be polite and respectful. Students should feel free to disagree with the instructor's views as expressed in readings or remarks/notes. As noted elsewhere, I typically avoid getting involved in the discussions because I want to read what YOU and your classmates have to say about a particular topic. Since I will have no interpersonal contact with you, it is only through discussions that I can get an idea of what's going on in your mind.

Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on May 22, 2017