Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. Psychology Dept.


Perez, Paul

Second Advisor

James M. Gillespie

Third Advisor

George S. Maier


This paper traces the historical development in the State of Maine of the procedures by which persons found to be mentally unsound can be committed to institutional care against their will. Beginning in 1820 and continuing to the present, specific changes in the statutes governing this area are noted. Both the criminal and civil commitment procedures are dealt with. Following the historical trace, pending legislation relating to the criminal commitment process is examined in detail. Finally, consideration is given to the need for a complete reexamination of the practice of involuntary commitment involving ethical and constitutional issues.


Mentally ill -- Commitment and detention, Mentally ill -- Care -- Maine -- History, Mental health laws

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Psychology Commons