Commentary: civil commitment statutes--40 years of circumvention
Department of Psychiatry
Response or Comment
Medical Subject Headings
Commitment of Mentally Ill
Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology
There is a longstanding body of literature that describes how states' civil commitment statutes have been stretched or circumvented to accommodate institutional and systemic needs. The paper by Levitt and colleagues provides yet another example of this phenomenon: Arizona's use of its civil commitment statutes to detain unrestorable, incompetent criminal defendants for whom other provisions have not been developed. This commentary provides a brief overview of other examples of the stretching of commitment laws, providing a broader context for viewing the findings of Levitt and colleagues.
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Citation: J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2010;38(3):365-8.