Legal Matters

Legal Issues for Family Members

Updated February 2020

Mandatory Treatment Laws In Illinois – per

Like every state, Illinois has civil commitment laws that establish criteria for determining when involuntary treatment is appropriate for individuals with severe mental illness who cannot seek care voluntarily. Illinois is one of only 17 states that provide access to treatment on the basis of need, in addition to considerations of dangerousness. Illinois’ laws also allow for the use of court-ordered treatment in the community, known as assisted outpatient treatment.

For inpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:
• be a reasonable expectation of danger to self/others
• be unable to provide for basic physical needs so as to guard against serious harm without the assistance of others, OR
• refuse or not adhere to treatment, unable to understand need for treatment, and, if not treated, reasonably expected to suffer mental or emotional deterioration and become dangerous and/or unable to provide for basic physical needs

For outpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:
• in the absence of outpatient treatment, meet criteria for inpatient commitment; and outpatient treatment can only be reasonably ensured through court order; or
• mental illness left untreated reasonably expected to result in qualification for inpatient commitment, and has more than once caused the person to refused needed outpatient care

Getting an involuntary admission order:

The Criminal Justice System

The Criminal Justice System