Michael Allen is a senior staff attorney and director of housing programs at the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C. In that position, he provides public policy advocacy in Congress and at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of the housing needs of persons with mental disabilities. Since 1995, he has played a leadership role in opposing legislation designed to weaken rights of people with disabilities and others under the Fair Housing Act.
Mr. Allen also leads the Center's efforts to oppose involuntary outpatient commitment (IOC) and to promote a new vision of public mental health through promotion of a Model Law establishing a legally enforceable right to mental health services and supports. He has worked closely with state-based civil rights advocates to turn aside legislative efforts to expand IOC, and to promote alternative approaches. He has spoken widely on the topic, and appeared on national television and radio. His writing on IOC issues has appeared in The Washington Post, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Psychiatric Services.
Prior to coming to the Bazelon Center, he worked as managing attorney for Legal Services of Northern Virginia (1985-95). He is a 1979 graduate of Georgetown University, and received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1985. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the D.C. Bar.
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