Civil Commitment-Nursing Paper Examples

Civil commitment refers to the court-ordered treatment of disabled or mentally ill individuals. It focuses on ameliorating the mental condition symptoms that increase an individual’s risk of harming themselves or others. North Carolina has established the G.S.  122C-201 legislation to address the issue of civil commitment (North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, 2020).

Civil Commitment
Civil Commitment

The policy encourages voluntary admission of mentally ill patients to care facilities unless they pose a danger to themselves or others. It mandates any person aware of the debilitating condition of a mentally ill person to execute an affidavit and compel a court clerk into issuing a court order for remanding the individual into custody (North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, 2020). Clinicians can also swear affidavits petitioning the involuntary commitment of a mentally ill person.

Risks and Implications (Civil Commitment)

The policy poses serious risks since it can induce post-traumatic stress or anxiety in the patient. The patient may find challenges recovering from forced treatments. It instigates fear and unhealthy repression of anger in the patients, leading to depression (Hoge, 2022). Winick (2018) also observes that policy implications include the institutionalization of American citizens, which violates human rights (Civil Commitment).

Effects of institutionalization, such as restriction of freedom, over-regulation, and social isolation, could be factored into the court proceedings as a violation of the defendant’s rights, impeding justice to potential victims and the defendant. Also, the policy involves coercion by threatening and intimidating a mentally ill person to accept treatment. This violates the patient’s right of freedom and autonomy to choose or refuse a type of treatment and positions the legal proceedings to be marred with selective respect to the law (Winick, 2018).

Notably, the policy creates precedence for diversity issues by granting regular citizens and nurses the authority usually reserved for law enforcement officers. The individuals may take advantage of the authority to further racial bias by enforcing civil commitment on a mentally ill person despite not causing any threats to the public or self. Therefore, the policy should be cautiously enforced to reduce negative impacts on others (Civil Commitment).


 Hoge, S. K. (2022). Providing transition and outpatient services to the mentally ill released from correctional institutions. Public health behind bars: From prisons to communities, 445-460. 10.1007/978-1-0716-1807-3_30

North Carolina Sheriff’s Association (2020). Commitment Issues for Law Enforcement.

Winick, B. J. (2018). A therapeutic jurisprudence model for civil commitment. In Involuntary detention and therapeutic jurisprudence (pp. 23-54). Routledge. 9781315251844

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