This workshop will examine the reality of structural racism in civil commitment cases and the challenges of raising that reality in individual commitment hearings. It will discuss the growing research on racial disparities in detentions, forensic evaluations, restraints and commitments, and how to translate that research into the courtroom. Paradoxically, one possible avenue arises out of the growing trend of using civil beds for forensic evaluations of criminal defendants. Attempts to raise race in commitment cases in Massachusetts and Connecticut will be discussed as well as strategies that might work in other states.
Litigating Race in Civil Commitment (Powerpoint - PDF)