Civil commitment is
... process in which a judge decides whether a person who is alleged to be mentally ill should be required to go to a psychiatric hospital or accept other mental health treatment.... A civil commitment is not a criminal conviction and will not go on a criminal record.On what grounds can someone be civilly committed?
A person can be committed if after hearing from witnesses a judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person has a mental disorder and, because of that mental disorder, is:Why shouldn't similar criteria justify civil commitment for drug abusers, under the supervision of medical personnel?
- Dangerous to self or others, or
- Unable to provide for basic personal needs like health and safety.
And, on the other side, what's the difference between this and a criminal penalty, other than the lack of a criminal record? Is it a distinction without a difference? (And does that point flow Negative?)
It's important to point out that civil commitment is a procedure that exists in free societies, although not without controversy, especially since it clearly violates Mill's harm principle.