The Dramatic Decline of Civil Commitment in Oregon, 1972 to 2020

Thomas E. Hansen, Joseph Bloom, Amela Blekic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The rate of civil commitment in Oregon fell from 53.2/100,000 in 1972 to 9.2/100,000 in 2020. The paper discusses this decline in civil commitment as related to statutory and case law changes and complex interactions including bed availability at Oregon State Hospital (OSH). The latter was in turn influenced by the significant increase in the last decade of hospitalization at OSH of competence to stand trial evaluation and restoration (CST) patients. Multnomah County, which contains the city of Portland, was responsible for the largest number of investigations and commitments and led the state in using a 14-day diversion alternative to commitment. This analysis may serve as a model for other states to engage in similar longitudinal research to shed light on the functioning of their involuntary commitment statutes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-540
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • civil commitment
  • competency to stand trial
  • forensic hospital psychiatry
  • legal regulation of psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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