The administration of criminal justice and related coercive interventions in the lives of citizens present most starkly the many important issues concerning the proper balance between use of the state’s authority and power and the rights of individuals. We see exemplified here, as well as in “civil” commitments of the mentally ill, the perennial and fundamental question: Under what circumstances is the state justified in using its power to infringe the liberty of the individual (Allen, 1964; Hart, 1963)?
KeywordsMental Illness Police Power Civil Commitment Public Policy Issue Insanity Defense
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