Definition - What does Mafia mean?

The Mafia refers to an underground criminal organization that has its roots in Italy; however, it now operates in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world.

In the context of the law, the Mafia is commonly involved in illicit criminal activities such as racketeering, drug dealing, bribery and prostitution. The Mafia originated in Sicily in the 1800s.

Justipedia explains Mafia

The Mafia is very similar to other criminal organizations. However, the Mafia has a heavy Italian influence.

The organization has a history of intimidating and threatening law enforcement members in order to obstruct justice. The Mafia commonly uses violence to obtain its goals, which are often financially based.

This organized crime group commonly operates in secret, or in an underground fashion, in order to avoid detection and prosecution by law enforcement. It is often very organized.

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