Winner of the 9984 Leslie T. Wilkins Award for the best book in criminology and criminal justice. Bookmaking, numbers, and loansharking are reputed to be major sources of revenue for organized crime, controlled by the "visible hand" of violence. For years this belief has formed the basis of government policy toward illegal markets. Drawing on police files, confiscated records, and interviews with police, prosecutors, and criminal informants, Reuter systematically refutes the notion that the Mafia, by using political connections and the threat of violence, controls the major illegal markets. Instead, he suggests that the cost of suppressing competition has ensured that these markets are populated with small enterprises, many of them marginal and ephemeral.
Disorganized Crime is included in The MIT Press Series on Organization Studies, edited by John Van Maanen.