The real boss is working from prison, usually. The head of a crime family can maintain his position after getting pinched by the feds, provided he still has strong support from his underlings and can participate in major decisions from his cell. The rank-and-file mafiosi wouldn?t explicitly refer to his temporary replacement as ?acting boss,? as police and prosecutors do, but they know the new head is only a caretaker, managing day-to-day operations until the boss returns. An acting head might eventually seize permanent control by promoting his own loyalists to important jobs like underboss (second-in-command), consigliere (chief adviser), or caporegime (unit captain). He could also convince the old boss?s supporters to change allegiance. A quicker, but riskier, route is to kill off the holdovers from the last regime. Sometimes, the jailed boss ends his own reign by collaborating with law enforcement.