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Louis Ferrante talks about today's mafia...

READERSVOICE.COM: I heard that outlaw motorcycle gangs are bigger than the mafia in the world of organised crime. The mafia used to control the New York waterfront, but is it in decline?

LOUIS FERRANTE: Gangs may be larger but the Mafia, even in this state of decline, is still more organized.

RV: As far as you know, do the same things go on as when you were working for the Gambino family, with truck hijackings and robberies? Are these things in the news much?

LF: The street rackets, for the most part, are the same. I do believe, however, that the Mob has lost its foothold in some of the more lucrative rackets like garbage unions and the waterfront.

RV: What would you like to see done to improve the prison system? It seems cruel how old lifers are stuck inside for years. Could something like bus trips around the city be offered as rewards for good behaviour? What other innovations would you like?

LF: I’ve written an entire book on this – let me know if you know a publisher who is interested.

RV: Do you still live in Queens and what’s your daily routine?

LF: I do not. I write every day.

RV: What kinds of things do you talk about when you give speeches?

LF: My past, and how it can help others; my love for reading, and how it has helped me.

RV: Do you regret your life in crime? How do you think your life might have turned out otherwise?

LF: I do regret my years as a criminal but we all have regrets – all we can do is move forward and glean what good we can from the bad.

RV: What are some of your plans?

LF: Keep writing.

-Visit louisferrante.com.

-Copyright Simon Sandall.