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LPS Reform Task Force II

17602 17th St. #102-281
Tustin, CA 92780
(916) 520-4670

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Background

The Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act is a California law governing involuntary civil commitment for psychiatric treatment. It was named for its co-authors - Assemblyman Frank Lanterman (R) and Senators Nicholas C. Petris (D) and Alan Short (D) - and signed into law in 1967 by Governor Ronald Reagan. The Act went into full effect on July 1, 1972.

The goal of the LPS Act was to end inappropriate lifetime commitment of people with mental illness and firmly establish the right to due process in the commitment process while significantly reducing state institutional expense.

Many things have changed in the nearly fifty years since the law was written. Scientific advances have given us a better understanding of mental illness that can be utilized to facilitate improved treatment, care, and support. Additionally, the Act itself has been amended numerous times over the years, transforming the Act into an expensive, contentious law that is difficult to administer. There is a lack of clarity to the definitions provided in the Act resulting in frequent misinterpretation and inconsistent application of the law from county to county.

With this view in mind, the LPS Reform Task Force was formed and produced, in 1999, a report titled, A New Vision for Mental Health Treatment Laws. The report included several recommendations for revisions to the LPS Act, with a focus on the involuntary treatment law as it pertains to adults with severe and persistent mental illness.

More recently, the LPS Reform Task Force II convened to refine the 1999 recommendations, to review California's system of involuntary psychiatric treatment and to identify what is working and what is not. The report resulting from this task force is called Separate and Not Equal: The Case for Updating California's Mental Health Treatment Law.



Reports


Archives


California Law

CALIFORNIA WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE

CALIFORNIA HEALTH & SAFETY CODE


California Regulations

TITLE 9, DIVISION 1 - DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH