This article begins and ends with a call for more empirical research to understand the connection between societal views of mental illness and the legal system. The author asserts that changing social perceptions of mental illness certainly affect legal outcomes and commitment levels, but the degree remains unknown. This article explores the above two topics through the framework of the Circuit Court 'split' regarding the Constitutional rights of persons committed to state mental health institutions. A main facet of the 'split' is centered on the Circuits' disagreement about whether or not all mentally ill patients committed to institutions deserve the same Constitutional protections.
A Call for Minds: The Unknown Extent of Societal Influence on the Legal Rights of Involuntarily and Voluntarily Committed Mental Health Patients,
Annals Health L.
Available at: http://lawecommons.luc.edu/annals/vol19/iss2/7