Civil Commitment: Turning Safety Upside Down

Jacek/Jack Haciak

The legal mechanism solely intended to prevent harm is being twisted into a mechanism for forcing conformation to experts’ views of “what is best for them.”

By helping individuals understand the humane origins of civil commitment, today’s negative effects on community trust from over-extending the use of civil commitment can more easily be seen. These overextensions increase unwarranted human rights restrictions, and attempt to change perceptions of civil commitment to also being a "tool" for helping people access services. Once the overextensions are understood, methods for effectively creating health, wellness, and safety without rights restrictions can be explored and applied.

Participants will:

  1. Review the origins and intent of civil commitment laws
  2. Explore how keeping individuals safe in times of danger has become a shortcut to forcing “treatment” unassociated with danger
  3. Learn ways to prevent these abuses both in times of danger (through vignettes), and by legislative action