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Articles written by judge philip dale segrest

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  • Race and Incarceration

    Judge Philip Dale Segrest|Jun 1, 2014

    In the past couple of articles we have discussed the alarming increase in the rate of incarceration. We have pointed to the fact that an increase in the rate of incarceration signifies that criminal law is not working very well. Ironically, the criminal justice system seems to take pride in the number of cases processed, and the number of convictions. But law works well when people obey the law. Now we turn to an alarming demographic fact about incarceration in these United States. The rate of...

  • The Problem With Penitentiaries

    Judge Philip Dale Segrest|May 1, 2014

    In past articles we have discussed the breakdown of the family and the impact of family breakdown on moral formation. We suggested that inadequate moral formation is the root cause of crime. We suggested the possibility that the breakdown of the family and damage to its role in moral formation has contributed to the escalating rate of incarceration. We have also discussed the important role that the peer group plays in moral formation and the fact that usually the “peer group” is found in church...

  • Crime: Human Economics

    Judge Philip Dale Segrest|Apr 1, 2014

    In the two preceding articles we pointed out that the principle cause of crime is inadequate moral formation, and that spending money on law enforcement and penitentiaries does not solve the basic problem. In this column we will explore social dynamics that underscore these two points. Let’s start by saying that crime in general is not the product of brilliant minds. A great contest between extremely intelligent criminals and equally intelligent law enforcement officers makes good movies, but w...

  • Accounting for Crime

    Judge Philip Dale Segrest|Mar 1, 2014

    This article is the second in a series dealing with counterintuitive thoughts about how we deal with crime. I previously pointed out that the solution to the problem of crime will not result from stronger law enforcement, but from stronger moral formation. Correct moral formation occurs as a result of interaction with the family, the peer group, churches, schools and the entire community. Peer groups play a particularly important role. And now there is TV and social media. A comedian may have...

  • Counterintuitive Thoughts on Criminal Justice

    Judge Philip Dale Segrest|Feb 1, 2014

    The tremendous increase in the rate of incarceration that has occurred over the past forty years or so strongly indicates more crimes are happening. Our next few columns we will explore some of the implications. In an earlier column we pointed out that there is no “cause” for crime. There is a cause for proper behavior. The cause for proper behavior is adequate moral formation. We also pointed out that the traditional family was the beginning point of moral formation and that the breakdown of...

  • Bench-Bar-& Beyond

    Judge Philip Dale Segrest|Jan 1, 2014

    Family is the basic economic unit of our culture. Earlier columns have examined the breakdown of family and problems related to assignment of family disputes to an adversarial judicial system. Problems related to child and spousal support epitomize the unanticipated difficulties of the transition to no-fault divorce administered by an adversarial judicial system. The traditional family was the ultimate consumer. Food, clothing, housing, transportation, and all of the basic requirements for life...

  • 1.03 Marriage Meltdown and Moral Formation

    Judge Philip Dale Segrest|Dec 1, 2013

    Twentieth century psychology correctly identified the sources of moral formation. Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg and others showed that moral formation occurs in stages of development. Internalization of the commands and images of the parents plays a strong and vital role in moral formation. Traditional family was the first template for moral formation. Earlier in history, “conscience” was believed to be an inherent part of human nature—something humans are born...

  • Bench-Bar-& Beyond

    Judge Philip Dale Segrest|Nov 1, 2013

    Last month, I described the meltdown of family that resulted from our nation’s movement from an agrarian, small town economy to a technological economy. Men and women have more contact with members of the opposite sex who are not their spouses than with their spouses. The Nineteen Sixties marked the pivotal change. The judicial system and the legal profession were not designed to solve the problems of the disintegration of marriage and family. Nursery Rhymes teach us a lot. Humpty Dumpty sat o...

  • Bench-Bar-& Beyond

    Judge Philip Dale Segrest|Oct 1, 2013

    Family is the primal unit of society. Men and women have always met and produced off-spring. Successful marriages conserved the energy necessary for human advancement. Maslow identified sex as a basic need. It is packed with motive force. Freud called the driving force that pushes humans into action libidinal energy. Although libidinal energy is associated with sex, it can be redirected for other creative effort. When marriage works, sex needs of both partners are met, without spending energy...