August 19, 2020, 3:54 pm
Under this legal mechanism, which exists in at least 20 states and the District of Columbia, individuals convicted of certain sexual offenses (or in some instances convicted of nothing), and deemed to have a mental disorder and constitute a danger to society, can be involuntarily committed to “treatment” facilities after they’ve already served their criminal sentence. While in civil commitment, individuals are supposed to receive mental healthcare and regular examinations, and to be released once it is determined they are no longer dangerous. As the statute that established civil commitment in Illinois in 1998 puts it, individuals are to receive “control, care and treatment until such time as the person is no longer a sexually violent person.”
Yet, In These Times spoke with people held in civil commitment, rights advocates, scholars and lawyers who say that, instead of receiving effective treatment, people held under civil commitment statutes are subject to prison conditions, inadequate mental healthcare, scientifically dubious evaluations, and homophobic bias; they are deprived of meaningful due process; and they have little hope of getting out anytime soon.
The post Inside the Endless Nightmare of Indefinite Detention Under “Civil Commitment appeared first on Florida Action Committee.
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Author: Florida Action Committee
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