Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Steve Coughlan


This thesis explains how some organized crime outlaws, such as anti-Prohibitionists, the North American Mafia or La Cosa Nostra, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and Aboriginal street gangs, come to exist and thrive in Canadian society. It sets forth the historical development and nature of criminal organization laws in Canada, and compares the definition of “criminal organization” in the Criminal Code with other criminal law concepts, such as corporate criminals and white-collar criminals; conventional criminality or garden-variety predatory crime; terrorists; and criminal conspirators, parties, and accessories. It uses various concepts and assertions within criminological, sociological and psychological theories to explain the formation and perpetuation of the identity of individuals who engage in organized crime and who are members of organized crime groups. Aspects of social constructionism, social control and bond theory, differential association in the context of subcultures of violence, deviance and labelling, and social psychology theories are discussed to explain why some individuals, or some individuals who are criminals, become organized crime outlaws. Some of these reasons or explanations overlap and some complement one another. From these theoretical reasons or explanations, this thesis extracts a list of requisites that anti-organized crime measures should address in order to effectively combat organized crime. The conflicts among some of these requisites are set forth and reconciled, and the requisites are used to evaluate the present Canadian criminal organization provisions in the Criminal Code and to suggest non-criminal law as well as non-legal ways to effectively combat organized crime. After the application and discussion of each requisite, this thesis makes recommendations as to what anti-organized crime measures should include and how they should approach the problems posed by organized crime outlaws in this country.