The Problems of the Prohibition Era: Organized Crime

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When Prohibition took effect on January 17, 1920, and banned the manufacture, transport, and sale of alcoholic beverages thousands of formerly legal saloons and bars across the country closed down. This angered many people; the supply and the demand for the illegal alcohol was going up, so people known as bootleggers have decided to go private and do it clandestinely. Bootleggers are now smuggling alcohol from the surrounding countries, some are buying prescription alcohol, and others have decided to produce their own moonshine at home. We have tried going after the bootleggers, however it is a very tough job since they are very crafty about where they hide their liquor. The smuggling of alcohol makes them be criminals says Sheriff George S. Matthews. Prohibition opened a gateway to earn huge amounts of money to bootlegs such as Al Capone. Al Capone was born in 1899 in New York and later went on to becoming the most infamous gangster in American history.

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Today in 1920 during the height of prohibition, Capone’s multi-million dollar Chicago operation in bootlegging, prostitution and gambling is dominating the organized crime scene. Capone is responsible for many brutal acts of violence, mainly against other gangsters (A&E Television Networks). He is controlling the Chicago liquor business by killing other competitors and is currently being wanted by the federal police. Unfortunately he isn’t the only one. There are many other people just like him, who we simply just do not know about. Prohibition has created a black market in which criminals are violently fighting over the liquor markets. These activities are so real and substantial that they require action from the federal government. Simple policeman like me who are paid poorly, are easily bought by the bootleggers complains Sheriff Matthews. Many more people are now mass-producing moonshine privately on their own; making themselves be criminals. Most of the time the moonshine turns out to be intoxicated which causes many complications such as death. We are very frustrated that people are still consuming so much alcohol even after it was banned, so we have decided to try a different kind of enforcement and manipulation says federal sheriff.

‘The Federal Government ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols that are regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead the federal poisoning program, by some estimates has already killed at least 10,000 people’ (Sociology Department, New York). The New York City police commissioner estimated it was home to thirty-two thousand drinking saloons. That is double the number of saloons and illegal bars before the prohibition. This is a very serious issue. The first and the most important thing we must do is to get rid of the prohibition experiment. And then it would be much easier to lower down and control organized crime. Our country is in pretty big trouble, even though we might not be able to notice it at once says Sheriff George S. Matthews.

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The Problems of the Prohibition Era: Organized Crime. (2019, Oct 30). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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