Tags Posts tagged with "Involuntary Commitment"

Involuntary Commitment

Earlier this week, RCPA submitted its position on SB 962 to the Pennsylvania Senate Health and Human Services Committee. SB 962 would force overdose survivors into treatment for substance use disorder.

RCPA opposes SB 962 because of:

  • The enormous burden placed on providers to manage an unfunded and complex involuntary treatment process;
  • The perpetuation of stigma towards the disease of addiction by introducing the complexity and trauma of the judicial system to the treatment of a disease – not the commission of a crime; and
  • Scant evidence that this approach reduces overdoses and death.

Read RCPA’s full position paper on SB 962. You can also view the memo announcing SB 962 as well as the language of the bill.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Department of Human Services has become aware that there is confusion regarding timeframes specific to the “Warrant for Emergency Examination” under Section 302 of the Act. The field requires guidance on the length of time a warrant is considered active before the subject of the warrant has been located and the individual has been presented at an evaluation location.

When an individual displays an urgent need for evaluation and treatment due to concerns for the safety of that individual or others, authorization for an Involuntary Evaluation is outlined in the MHPA. The legislature designated a specific timeframe for an individual to be held at an evaluation location to avoid deprivation of liberty without further due process (see In Re Chiumento, 688 A. 2d 217, 221 (Pa Super, 1997)).

The mandated time limit reflects the expectation to honor the constitutional due process requirement of balancing individual liberty interests with the government’s interests in ensuring individual and societal safety.

If you have further questions, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.