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Organized Crime in ChicagoBeyond the Mafia$
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Robert M. Lombardo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037306

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037306.001.0001

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Street Crew Neighborhoods

Street Crew Neighborhoods

(p.167) 8 Street Crew Neighborhoods
Organized Crime in Chicago

Robert M. Lombardo

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on the organized crime neighborhoods of Chicago, with particular emphasis on five communities in the metropolitan area with a history of being associated with organized crime: Taylor Street, Grand Avenue, Twenty-sixth Street, the North Side, and the suburb of Chicago Heights. These communities are the locations of the five original “street crews,” or branches, of the Chicago Outfit. In addition to these areas, a number of other Chicago communities have a reputation of being associated with organized crime. These communities differ, however, in that they are all descendant from the five original street crew neighborhoods. The chapter reviews the history of organized crime in each of these street crew neighborhoods and offers a sociological explanation for their emergence in conformance with social organizational theories of crime. It argues that Mafia traditions had no bearing on the existence of racket subcultures in these neighborhoods; instead, organized crime was the direct result of machine politics and the differential organization of these communities.

Keywords:   organized crime, Chicago, street crews, Chicago Outfit, street crew neighborhoods, Mafia, racket subcultures, machine politics

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