The passage of the District of Columbia Hospitalization of the Mentally Ill Act in 1965 and more recent legislative re-evaluations of state mental health laws manifest a developing concern over the plight of the mentally ill. However, though much attention has been focused on the commitment process, it has been noted that legislative and public concern often has stopped at the asylum door and has left the incarcerated mentally ill at the mercy of inadequate facilities, deficient treatment, and at times antiquated philosophies about mental illness. In addition to reviewing the commitment process as it now exists, this comment examines the "inner system" of mental health, isolates some of its major inadequacies, and evaluates current judicial and legislative attempts to improve the mental health picture inside the institution.

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