Commitment to community-based mental health treatment bears limited resemblance to commitment to treatment in a closed institution. It can be better understood in the context of a broad movement to apply leverage to induce treatment engagement, a movement that includes use of the social welfare and justice systems and psychiatric advance directives. Understanding “mandated community treatment” in all of its forms can be advanced by viewing it within the framework of health care quality as recently outlined by the Institute of Medicine, particularly along the dimension of patient-centeredness.

Richard J. Bonnie, John T. Monahan & Marvin S. Swartz, Mandated Treatment in the Community for People with Mental Disorders, Health Affairs 28–38 (September, 2003).