The authors describe a study of 224 Involuntary patients admitted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in 1974, the first year of the implementation of Washington State's Involuntary Treatment Act. The patients, 115 men and 109 women, had a total of 297 episodes of hospitalization, with an average length of stay of 12.7 days. Fifty-one per cent were discharged In less than ten days. The authors compare the findings with studies of similar patient groups in Sacramento, California, and New York City. They concur with others who believe involuntary treatment statutes provide a means of dealing with the small group of psychiatric patients whose needs would otherwise go unattended.