Civil Committment

  • Kathleen Powers Stafford


This chapter has attempted to provide an overview of the scientific and clinical bases for addressing the legal issues raised by civil commitment proceedings. Courts have laid out guidelines for fair procedures and judicial review of involuntary treatment, while recognizing the value of civil commitment. At the same time, fiscal issues and systems changes have made sustained inpatient treatment less available and exposed the mentally ill to the risks of arrest and homelessness. The availability and effectiveness of alternatives to inpatient treatment vary considerably across communities.

Progress has been made in better understanding the relationship between mental disorder and the risk to self or others. Assessment strategies for evaluating competency to make treatment decisions and for identifying mentally ill persons likely to require involuntary treatment continue to be developed. It is in this context that the forensic clinician applies the state of current knowledge to the problem of mentally ill individuals who do not choose to participate in treatment on their own.


Violent Behavior Assertive Community Treatment Civil Commitment Involuntary Treatment Outpatient Commitment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen Powers Stafford
    • 1
  1. 1.Psycho-Diagnostic ClinicAkron

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