CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Simon & Rosenbaum on Commitment Law in an Age of Mass Incarceration

Jonathan Steven Simon and Stephen A. Rosenbaum (University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall, School of Law and University of California, Berkeley - School of Law) have posted Dignifying Madness: Rethinking Commitment Law in an Age of Mass Incarceration (University of Miami Law Review, Vol. 70, No. 1, 2015) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Modern nation-states have been trapped in recurring cycles of incarcerating and emancipating residents with psychiatric disabilities. New cycles of enthusiasm for incarceration generally commence with well-defined claims about the evils of allowing “the mad” to remain at liberty and the benefits incarceration would bring to the afflicted. A generation or two later, at most, reports of terrible conditions in institutions circulate and new laws follow, setting high burdens for those seeking to imprison and demanding exacting legal procedures with an emphasis on individual civil liberties. Today, we seem to be arriving at another turn in the familiar cycle. A growing movement led by professionals and family members of people with mental health disabilities is calling for new laws enabling earlier and more assertive treatment.

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