Pathways into organized crime

Criminology and victimology / Age and crime

Pathways into organized crime

Criminal opportunities and adult-onset offending


The main aim in studying organized crime offenders and their criminal life courses is to understand how they become involved in organized illegal activities and eventually also to prevent others from following the same path. Although organized crime offenders represent only a small number of the total offender population, they are responsible for substantial amounts of harm; organized crime involves large sums of money and causes considerable damage to society.

The central aims of this thesis were to expand knowledge on the life courses of individuals who become involved in a criminal group and to explore how they become involved in organized crime. Systematic research on organized crime offenders is scarce, with the exception of case studies reflecting in detail on the life course of a single offender. Life-course criminology, on the other hand, is mainly focused on general offender samples, and relatively few of these samples have data available far into adulthood. Hardly any research has been carried out on the development of offenders committing specific types of crimes. A multi-method approach was used to accomplish these central aims.

Thesis: Pathways into organized crime: Criminal opportunities and adult-onset offending


List of tables
List of figures

  1. Introduction
  2. Criminal trajectories in organized crime
  3. Comparing criminal careers of organized crime offenders and general offenders
  4. Involvement mechanisms for organized crime
  5. The truck driver who bought a café: Offenders on their involvement mechanisms for organized crime
  6. General conclusions

Samenvatting (Dutch summary)
Dankwoord (Acknowledgements)
Curriculum vitae

Publication data

Koppen, M.V. van
VU Amsterdam, WODC
Place of publication:
VU Amsterdam
Year of publication:

Order information

Voor een electronische versie - zie: bijlagen (rechtsboven) (only available as pdf)