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Civil Commitment


Civil Commitment book jacket View Table of Contents and Introductory Material
ISBN978-1-59460-021-0

Civil Commitment

A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Model

by Bruce J. Winick

2005 $48.00 362 pp jacketed hardback

Tags: Psychology and Law

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Through an understanding of the civil commitment of people with mental illness, this book offers a new model of commitment which strikes an appropriate balance between the protection of legal rights and the achievement of clinical needs. The model uses therapeutic jurisprudence to examine a variety of issues relating to civil commitment and proposes how legal practices may be restructured to increase the efficacy of hospitalization. It analyzes the key issues in civil commitment and makes concrete proposals concerning how commitment laws and their application can be restructured to bring about better therapeutic outcomes.

The issues explored include the tension between coercion and autonomy; the standards for commitment, including both police power and parens patriae commitments; and the commitment hearing and the role of the judge, defense lawyer, and expert witnesses at the hearing. Topics such as the right to treatment and to refuse treatment; voluntary hospitalization and its application; advanced directive instruments for commitment; outpatient commitment and its alternatives; and how international human rights limitations on commitment should be construed are also covered.

“[The author] surely has written a book that should be read by everyone interested in mental health law.” — The Law and Politics Book Review

“With uncommon erudition and in precise, elegant prose, he demonstrates how coercion to mental health treatment—in both its institutional and community forms—can be seen more clearly through the lens of a theory that takes seriously the therapeutic potential of law.” — John Monahan, Doherty Professor of Law, University of Virginia

“Bruce Winick's work on therapeutic jurisprudence has long been a beacon for anyone involved or interested in mental health law. This newest effort on his part will be another crucial reference point for mental health professionals, scholars, lawyers, judges and consumers of psychiatric treatment.” — Christopher Slobogin, Stephen C. O'Connell Professor of Law, University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law

“It examines virtually every question raised by the commitment process, and rigorously analyzes each issue through the lens of therapeutic jurisprudence.” — Michael Perlin, Professor of Law, New York Law School

“It is required reading for mental health lawyers, advocates, and anyone interested in the intersection of mental health, law and social policy.” — Stephen J. Morse, Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law and Professor Psychology and Law in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania

“Combining legal scholarship with clinical insights, Winick establishes a roster of challenging questions that provides a valuable guide for the theoretical and empirical work of those interested in mental health law and the treatment of the mentally ill.” — J. Richard Ciccone, Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Psychiatry and Law Program, University of Rochester School of Medicine

“Winick, a professor at the University of Miami's School of Law, is one of the nation's leading mental health law scholars…Anyone involved with civil commitment will find this book useful and thought provoking…” — John Petrila, Psychiatric Services: A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association


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