The Osservatorio sulla criminalità organizzata (CROSS) is a Research Institute of the University of Milan which was established in 2013. The President of CROSS is Prof. Fernando Dalla Chiesa, who introduced the first academic course of sociology of organized crime in the Italian University. The Coordinator is Prof. Mariele Merlati.
CROSS is dedicated to research and education in the field of organized crime. CROSS endorses the study of organized crime from a multidisciplinary perspective. It is structured in two linked operative branches based in the Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies and the Department of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Milan, which deal with the analysis of organized crime domestically and internationally, respectively. CROSS aims to promote conferences, workshops and seminars investigating organized crime dynamics from a broad spectrum.
It holds several educational programmes, including: a post-degree Specialization Course entitled “International scenarios of organized crime” and the University of Milan Doctoral Programme in Studies on Organized Crime, which aims to fulfil the need for highly specialized individuals in a field of such complexity and importance that new scientific know-how, as well as professional profiles and sensibilities, are required. The PhD Course also aims to provide students with the knowledge (in sociology, history, law, economics, etc.) required to identify, define and contrast manifestations of organized crime, even within the scope of prevention, on the basis of sound theoretical foundations and appropriate methodological approaches.
CROSS undertakes research projects in this field, also in partnership with public and private institutions, at national and international level; including a multi-year study on behalf of the Italian Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry against the mafia phenomenon on the presence of the mafia-type groups in the north of Italy.
CROSS has published a quarterly on-line scientific Journal since 2015 with the aim to host multidisciplinary academic studies (also in english) dealing with organized crime.