Each year more of our fellow citizens are involuntarily committed to a mental institution of one sort or another than are incarcerated for the commission of a crime. To those committed, the walls and barred windows of the hospital, as well as the treatment and mode of living, are probably not significantly different from those of a prison. This is particularly the case with those confined for treatment by court order or by some special statutory procedure following acquittal of a crime on grounds of insanity. Yet these mentally ill, even after perpetrating what would otherwise have been a criminal act, are not criminals; their involuntary stay in the hospital is, at least in part, intended for their own protection and treatment, not as punishment for their actions.
Travis H. Lewin,
Disposition of the Irresponsible: Protection Following Commitment,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol66/iss4/5