skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 158355 Find in a Library
Title: Civil Commitment of Minors to Mental Institutions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Journal: New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Commitment  Volume:21  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1995)  Pages:543-574
Author(s): T Hopcroft
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 32
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores how Massachusetts provides treatment and protection for children through legal and mental health systems; the focus is on when to commit juveniles to mental health facilities, who should make such determinations, the potential for abuse, and the need for juveniles to have a separate voice to protect against being erroneously committed to mental health facilities.
Abstract: In the past, the Massachusetts Department of Social Services has bypassed the few existing safeguards, denied children procedural due process, and committed them to mental health facilities. More recently, by enacting a comprehensive procedure for admitting children to mental institutions, the Massachusetts legislature has taken a significant step toward equalizing the protection afforded adults and children. In civil commitment cases, due process demands that all persons have the opportunity for a full adversarial hearing with legal representation. The civil commitment process is described with respect to voluntary admission, conditional voluntary admission, involuntary commitment, and court-ordered commitment, and relevant U.S. Supreme Court rulings are noted. 264 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Child protection services; Civil commitment; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Courts; Juvenile Delinquents with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities; Massachusetts; Mentally ill offenders; Offenders with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities; Right to Due Process; Rights of minors; US Supreme Court decisions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.