The term civil commitment refers to the government’s right to limit the liberty rights of its citizens through detention when no criminal act has occurred. The Constitution of the United States specifically provides for personal freedom; however, these freedoms can be limited under specified circumstances. It is widely accepted that when a crime is committed, the offending individual may face criminal commitment or confinement, also known as incarceration. The purpose of criminal commitment is usually punishment for retribution or deterrence. Conversely, civil commitment is the government’s method of protecting its citizens, including the individual who is under civil commitment, often by providing treatment and supervision of that individual. Although outpatient civil commitment exists, the term civil commitment has often been considered as synonymous with ...

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