This study will collect and code statutes, regulations and case law governing involuntary civil commitment to both inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment across the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Although various forms of out-patient commitment have become more common in recent years, civil commitment of all kinds has continued to be a basic mechanism for assuring that people with serious mental illness receive treatment for their own benefit and for the protection of others. The relative efficacy of the varying legal mechanisms has, however, not been thoroughly evaluated.