National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Involuntary Outpatient Commitment in New York:
10 Years Later
George Badillo, Jenneth Carpenter,
Dennis Feld, Kim Hopper, and Darby Penney

New York State passed an involuntary outpatient commitment (IOC) statute, known as “Kendra’s Law,” in 1999; the law will come up for reconsideration in 2010.  The panel members were involved in various roles in the activities that culminated in the law’s passage and/or in the ensuing legal and advocacy struggles against IOC.  From their perspectives as researchers, activists, an attorney and a former government official, the panel members will discuss the lessons learned to date and the possible future of IOC in New York.  Topics addressed will include research on the “effectiveness” of IOC; grassroots organizing against IOC; and an assessment of whether IOC is truly a coercive measure, given the New York State Court of Appeals’ findings in Matter of K.L. that it is not coercive.