Outpatient commitment and procedural due process

Candice Player*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A large empirical literature on Kendra's Law has assessed the impact of court ordered outpatient treatment on outcomes such as treatment adherence, psychiatric hospitalization, quality of life, and treatment costs. Missing from the empirical literature, however, is a better understanding of procedural due process under Kendra's Law. Procedural due process concerns the safeguards that must be in place when governments deprive persons of their liberties, for example - notice, the right to a hearing and the right to appeal. This article reports the findings from a qualitative study of procedural due process and assisted outpatient treatment hearings under Kendra's Law. Attorneys reported significant barriers to effective advocacy on behalf of their clients. Further, despite the shift from a medical model of civil commitment to a judicial model in the 1970s, by and large judges continue to accord great deference to clinical testimony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-113
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Kendra's law
  • Outpatient commitment
  • Procedural due process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law


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