Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

May 2015

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Jeb Booth

Abstract

The Massachusetts General Law Chapter 123 Section 35 allows a person to be involuntarily committed into a treatment facility for drug/alcohol abuse for a maximum of 90 days if suspected to pose an immediate risk to themselves or others. This law changed on July 1st, 2012 when it was previously a maximum of 30 days. A further look will be taken into what precipitating factors led the legislature to extend the maximum sentence, and what effect this has had on the treatment of the men in the facility. This research takes a step inside a facility where Section 35’s are sent, and breaks down the issues that lead the men into this facility. In addition, survey results will be presented that show which drugs have proven themselves most problematic in leading to the forced detox. Recommendations will be presented on how the Section 35 process could be improved, as viewed from the opinions of the men in the facility, psychologists who recommend the detox, clinicians of the facility, and Senator Jen Flanagan, who recently led a panel discussion on the Section 35 process.

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