On the Voluntary Admission of Minors

The past several years have been witness to dramatic changes in both the theory and practice of civil commitment. In the law, this development has taken the form of increased concern for the protection of the personal liberties of the mentally ill while among members of the medical profession it has been experienced as a part of the process of opening up the back wards. Legislatures in many states have responded by revising their mental health statutes to establish more rigorous standards for commitment, periodic review of the status of committed patients, and better procedural safeguards throughout the commitment process. Courts have found portions of commitment statutes unconstitutional in several states.