“Few topics have been more distorted by politicians and media than claims about the criminal justice system in its various forms.” – Vince Imhoff
LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, November 25, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Vince Imhoff, the managing director of Imhoff and Associates, was recently chosen by the “Best of Los Angeles Award” community as one of L.A.’s 100 most fascinating people, according to Aurora DeRose, award coordinator for the “Best of Los Angeles Award” community. Now, the talented attorney provides an inside look at common myths and facts about drugs and crime in the United States.
“Few topics have been more distorted by politicians and media than claims about the criminal justice system in its various forms,” states Vince Imhoff, “when the offense involves illicit drugs, the distortion becomes pronounced.”
In large measure, a complicated set of data have been made even more difficult to grasp because of tendentious (and often false) assertions forwarded by drug legalization and criminal justice reform advocates, who seek to advance their own “reforms” by first misrepresenting the criminal justice facts. These and other myths are harmful because they are now transforming into misguided policy proposals that put the public at risk.
What follows are the most commonly heard myths and the facts that refute them:
1. Myth: America’s prisons are filled with inmates who merely used or possessed illegal drugs.
Fact: As a rule, Americans do not go to prison for first-time, simple possession offenses. “Just 3.6 percent of state inmates and a mere 0.9 percent of federal inmates are in for drug possession offenses,” explains Imhoff, “with the vast majority of these inmates having long prior rap sheets or having plead down from more serious charges. Even accounting for these factors, there were only an estimated 75 inmates sentenced to the federal system in 2014 for marijuana possession.”
2. Myth: Drug offenders make up the majority of America’s current prison population.
Fact: Just 20 percent of sentenced inmates in the combined federal and state prison systems are in for a drug offense as their primary offense. “In 2014, of those entering the federal system — where the higher percentage of inmates are in for drug offenses — 32 percent were entering for drug offenses,” continues Imhoff, “with 97 percent of those being trafficking convictions.”
3. Myth: Those incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses have driven the increase in America’s prison population.
Fact: It can be debated that spreading deadly, addictive substances in the community is a “non-violent” offense, but regardless, this charge is abjectly false. “The percentage of state prison inmates with a drug offense as their primary offense peaked in 1990 at 22 percent,” states Imhoff, “it now stands at 16 percent.” Therefore, there is no support in the data for the assertion that convictions for drug use, possession, or trafficking are primarily responsible for the sharp increases in either state or federal prison inmates over the past few decades.
4. Myth: Most inmates serving long drug sentences are not dangerous and pose no threat to the public.
Fact: On the contrary, recidivism poses a substantial threat to the public. “According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics study, 77 percent of drug offenders released reoffended in five years, with 25 percent of these “non-violent” drug offenders’ recidivating offenses being violent crimes,” concludes Imhoff, “it should be remembered that these were only the crimes committed for which there was an arrest.”
Originally from Chicago, Vince Imhoff is admitted to practice law in Illinois, California, and Pennsylvania. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lewis University and earned his JD from the Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1989. From 1990 to 1997, Imhoff was a Cook County, Illinois Public Defender (Chicago). In 1997, he entered private practice as a solo practitioner.
In 2003, Imhoff founded Imhoff & Associates, PC. In 2005, he became the Managing Director of The Cochran Firm, Criminal Defense section. After Mr. Cochran passed away, Imhoff re-established Imhoff & Associates, PC and left the Cochran Firm.
From 2000 through 2002, Imhoff was the assistant coach for the trial team at Loyola University of Chicago, School of Law. He is currently a member of the State Bar of California, State Bar of Illinois and the State Bar of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the California Public Defenders Association, Santa Monica Bar Association (Treasurer 2012-2014, Board Member 2008-2014), Lesbian Gay Lawyers Association (Secretary 2009-2011, Board Member 2009-2015), San Bernardino County Bar, San Fernando Valley Bar Association, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
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Source: EIN Presswire