Detention Without Data: Public Tracking of Civil Commitment

“Civil commitment ranks among the most contentious and coercive elements of mental health care. Although civil commitment is practiced across the United States, basic statistics about these policies, such as the numbers of involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations each year, remain unknown or inaccessible to much of the public. Public tracking of civil commitment is complicated by numerous factors, including patient privacy concerns, decentralized systems of mental health care, and variable commitment criteria across jurisdictions. This column explores reasons to improve
public tracking of civil commitment and offers recommendations for U.S. states to achieve this aim.” -Psychiatric Services 2020; 71:741–744; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000212

“HIGHLIGHTS
• Civil commitment is practiced across the United States, but basic statistics about these policies, such as the number of involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations each
year, remain unknown to much of the public.
• Multiple factors, such as patient privacy concerns, decentralized systems of mental health care, and variable commitment criteria, complicate public tracking of civil
commitment.
• Public tracking of civil commitment is necessary to monitor and to optimize use of these policies.”

“After decades of debate over these laws, a striking amount of basic information about civil commitment, including annual numbers of involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations, remains unknown to the U.S. public. In recent years, some
states have begun publishing annual statistical reports on civil commitment proceedings; however, this information remains unavailable or difficult to access in much of the country. Better public tracking of civil commitment is needed to enhance public understanding of these laws, to help individuals navigate these proceedings, and to facilitate oversight and reform of these interventions. States should establish systems for public tracking and reporting of civil commitment in their jurisdictions while protecting the privacy of patients.”

Read the entire article by clicking the link below.

SOURCE: https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdf/10.1176/appi.ps.202000212

One thought on “Detention Without Data: Public Tracking of Civil Commitment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: