Mental Illness and Criminal Commitment in Michigan

This article concentrates on one vital issue: to what extent are differences in treatment justified because of a mentally ill person’s “criminal” involvement. While the article is primarily concerned with Michigan institutions and Michigan statutes, the discussion and the solutions proposed are in many respects applicable to all states of the Union. Not only must all states reevaluate their policies toward criminal commitment of the mentally ill in light of ever-changing medical and penal theory, but they must also consider the developing constitutional concepts in this area. These constitutional issues are raised here only to the extent necessary to alert the reader to possible objections to present custodial policies in Michigan and other states; authoritative conclusions have not been attempted.