Waking Rip van Winkle: why developments in the last 20 years should teach the mental health system not to use housing as a tool of coercion

Authors

  • Michael Allen J.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Suite 1212, Washington, DC. 20005, U.S.A.
    • Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Suite 1212, Washington, DC. 20005, U.S.A.
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  • The author acknowledges and thanks Sharee Moser (George Washington University School of Law '04) for her patient and meticulous work in checking references and citations

  • In selecting the subtitle and in writing this article, I acknowledge my deep gratitude to Henry Korman, Diane Engster, and Bonnie Milstein, and their 1996 article that has shaped my thinking on this topic. Henry Korman et al., Housing as a Tool of Coercion, In COERCION AND AGGRESSIVE COMMUNITY TREATMENT 95 (Deborah L. Dennis & John Monahan eds., 1996)

Abstract

Many housing programs for people with mental illnesses rely on models that require the person to adhere to treatment as a condition of continuing access to housing. These models that ‘bundle’ housing and treatment are relics of a past in which persons with mental illnesses were afforded little real choice in treatment, housing and other social supports. Conditioning access to housing in this manner is coercive and at odds with current thinking regarding treatment, as well as legal principles that shape the environment in which treatment is provided. This article summarizes the reasons why housing for people with mental illnesses should be provided free of the use of coercion. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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