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Organized Crime

Course Code: CRIM 3380
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Criminology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course provides an examination of the many forms of organized crime from traditional organized crime groups to street level gangs. A review of relevant academic and legal sources will be conducted to illustrate the phenomenon of organized crime. A specific focus will be on current events in British Columbia and moreover, how local crime groups and crime industries impact on a global perspective. Additional topics will include political responses to organized crime and gang violence, and how people in Canada are influenced by media and the unique U.S. experience. Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the topic through indepth study of relevant literature, research, and the evaluation of recent developments in the area.

Course Content

  • History of Organized Crime Groups and Gangs (International Perspective)
  • Defining and Understanding Organized Crime
  • Distribution and Structures of Organized Crime
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Organized Crime
  • Gangs, Violence and the Drug Trade
  • British Columbia Gangs
  • Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
  • Indigenous Gangs
  • The Media and Gang Violence
  • Community Programs and Policies
  • Police and Gang Interdiction
  • Future Consideration and Research

Methods of Instruction

This course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:

  1. Lectures
  2. Seminars
  3. Audio visual material
  4. Small group discussions
  5. Research projects and papers

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  Evaluation will be based on the course objectives.  The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. 

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Research presentation         15%
Media project  15%
Essay  20%
Mid term  20%
Final exam  20%
Participation  10%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the student will be able to: 

  1. Discuss historical accounts of organized crime and gang activity and the criminal justice approaches, including international gangs.
  2. Study and consider theoretical approaches to understanding organized crime. 
  3. Identify current criminal justice approaches to organized crime and gang activity.  This will include an examination of public perception of gang violence, and the impact of high visibility violence in public spaces.  This will include the role of the police in disrupting organized crime and gang entities and highlight the challenges in gathering admissible evidence to support criminal charges that will survive the Court process.
  4. Critically analyze the relevant literature and current events related to organized crime and gang activity.
  5. Identify political and legal forces that have bearing or influence in criminal justice approaches to organized crime and gang activity.
  6. Assess the implications of recent developments within the field and identify future directions of research and policy development in response to organized crime and gangs.

course prerequisites

CRIM 1100


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.