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Howard Abadinsky

Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security
PhD, Sociology, New York University
MSW, Fordham University

I began my career in criminal justice soon after completing a year of graduate school. As a novice NY State parole officer, I was assigned to Red Hook, Brooklyn, back then a tough waterfront area. Unbeknownst to me at the time, there was a violent conflict in progress between two factions of one of the city’s five Mafia Families; one faction was headquartered in Red Hook. I soon became acquainted with the colorful and descriptive names of neighborhood luminaries such “Blast,” “Crash,” “Snake,” and “Crazy.” My assignment also provided a crash course on organized crime that would become my specialty area in academia.

After retiring from the NYS Division of Parole, I spent twenty-two years in Chicago as a professor of criminal justice and an Inspector for the Cook County Sheriff. I served as a consultant to President Ronald Reagan’s Commission on Organized Crime, and in 2003 returned to New York and St. John’s University, where I had been an adjunct instructor back in the 1970s. I founded the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime and my text ORGANIZED CRIME is now in its tenth edition.