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Involuntary outpatient commitment requires the mandatory treatment of individuals with mental illness who meet certain criterion, such as danger to self or others. An individual may be placed directly into outpatient treatment with a court order or after the patient has already been placed in an inpatient treatment facility (more commonly referred to as conditional release). This dataset explores state laws and regulations that govern who can initiate the outpatient commitment process, the duration of commitment, whether the patient can refuse medication, what consequences exist for non-compliance, and whether outpatient commitment sets limits on the patient’s right to possess a firearm.

This map identifies and displays key features of such laws across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and over time, from January 1, 2000 to March 1, 2016.

Related Resources

Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health
Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: Summary of State Statutes.
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
Involuntary Commitment Myths and Facts.
Treatment Advocacy Center
Assisted Outpatient Treatment Laws.


Did you know?

In 22 states and the District of Columbia, patients have the right to refuse medication once in outpatient treatment.

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