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NCSC Guidelines for Involuntary Civil Commitment: A Workable Framework for Justice in Practice
Ingo Keilitz
Psychiatric Services 1988; doi:
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Institute on Mental Disability and the Law of the National Center for State Courts, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187; Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg; National Center for State Courts' Involuntary Civil Commitment Project

© 1988 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

A multidisciplinary task force convened by the National Center for State Courts has developed 50 guidelines that contain practical solutions to problems associated with involuntary civil commitment processes; most can be implemented within existing statutory frameworks. The guidelines call for greater cooperation and communication among the mental health, social service, public safety, and justice systems at each step in the commitment process and recommend that these systems form interdisciplinary community coordinating councils to seek expedient remedies to problems in the commitment process. Other guidelines outline the roles of law enforcement officers, lawyers, mental health professionals, and judges in maintaining the continuity of the commitment process and propose measures for improving screening of individuals as they enter the mental health system. Efforts to facilitate implementation of the guidelines are described.

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