Long-term involuntary commitment laws permit psychiatric facilities to accept a patient for an extended amount of time, without the patient’s consent, if they are displaying dangerous symptoms of a mental illness. Generally, long-term involuntary commitment proceedings may be initiated when an individual poses a danger to himself or others as a result of mental illness, or is unable to meet their basic needs.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws regulating long-term involuntary commitment. State laws vary on the duration of commitment, the rights that must be provided to a committed patient, and the subsequent limitations, if any, on a patient’s right to possess a firearm under state gun laws.
This is a longitudinal dataset, displaying laws from March 1, 2015 to May 1, 2016. To explore these laws, click the "Start Here" button below.
Police Interventions with Persons Affected by Mental Illnesses, a monograph, by Jennifer Wood, PhD, Jeffrey Swanson, PhD, MA, Scott Burris, JD, and Allison Gilbert, PhD, MPH
Firearms Laws, Mental Disorders, and Violence, by Jeffrey Swanson, PhD, MA