SAGE Journal Articles

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LO 14-2

Classifying the Variety of Drug Trafficking Organization

Abstract: A standard typology of drug trafficking organizations would assist in interpreting the results of studies made of these organizations. Several such typologies have been proposed, and this study examines a widely cited typology that was developed in the 1990s using New York City court data. The typology has two dimensions, organizational tasks and structure. It satisfactorily encompassed the trafficking organizations identified in two new samples: 39 organizations prosecuted in New York City in 1997-2007 and 50 organizations prosecuted during the same period by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The findings supported the generalizability of the typology. They also suggest that drug trafficking organizations adopt a structure congruent with their external environment, including the market for drugs, the type of drugs, ethnicity of those involved in distribution, use of technology in communication and distribution, and levels of law enforcement. Implications of fuller knowledge about the structure and functioning of drug trafficking organizations for research and policy are discussed.


LO 14-6

CSI Effect and Forensic Backlog

Abstract: The increasing application of forensic DNA analysis in the criminal justice system has led to considerable public debate. Such discussions typically center on either its use for identifying criminal offenders (and for exonerating those who have been wrongfully convicted) or legal questions concerning the proper scope of DNA evidence collection. Currently missing from these debates is an accurate estimate of the national backlog of cases that might benefit from the application of forensic DNA analysis. The authors estimate this backlog using data gathered from a nationally representative sample of local law enforcement agencies and from the total population of both state and local crime laboratories. The authors document the primary barriers identified by these agencies to the expanded use of forensic DNA analysis in the processing of criminal cases. The authors conclude with a discussion of the implications for the continued support of and increased access to forensic DNA testing by law enforcement agencies.