The Core of Mental Health Law
  • David B. Wexler
Part of the Perspectives in Law & Psychology book series (PILP, volume 4)


A musty file in Arizona’s Greenlee County Courthouse reveals that on January 22, 1912, shortly before Arizona became a state, a 19-year-old Mexican-American woman residing in Morenci was taken into custody and placed in the county jail by a deputy sheriff who, that same day, filed with the Greenlee County Probate Court the following commitment petition:

Have known girl about one year. Last summer—July or Aug. 1911— commenced to act irrational. Has been under treatment of physicians past 4 months. They called me this A. M. and told me they were unable to treat her successfully—that she is crazy and I must arrest her.


Criminal Justice Mental Health System Civil Commitment County Jail Typical State System 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Wexler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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