The Recorder has collaborated with students enrolled in Reimagining Criminal Justice, a seminar at Golden Gate University School of Law, to publish this series of student writings. This next generation of lawyers explore a broad range of topics touching on criminal and racial justice, and provide their perspectives and voices on myriad proposals for building a better, more just, system.

Six years after the infamous and disturbing elevator video of former NFL player Ray Rice punching his fiancée Janay Palmer in the face, knocking her unconscious and then dragging her out of the elevator, Rice and Palmer remain happily married, both speaking out against domestic violence. Contrast Rice’s story to that of Samuel Lee Scott, a husband charged with murdering his wife hours after a nonprofit group posted his bail in a domestic violence case.  The difference in these cases: Rice was given domestic violence counseling in lieu of jail, Scott was incarcerated. Research shows that incarceration actually increases future crime.  Criminologists call this the “criminogenic effect” of prison.