Procedural justice in the context of civil commitment: A critique of Tyler’s analysis

October 26, 2017 by School of Medicine Webmaster

This article is a critique of T. R. Tyler’s 1992 review of procedural justice and its effect on therapeutic outcome in patients involved in civil commitment hearings. The article clarifies critical elements of Tyler’s analysis by drawing on the social cognition construct of information control and elements in the consumerism literature that may mirror and facilitate procedural justice effects. The importance of the committing psychiatrist’s role during the commitment hearing is emphasized and issues unique to civil commitment respondents that might affect their susceptibility to procedural justice effects are highlighted. Further research examining the effects of judges’, attorneys’, and psychiatrists’ behavior on the patient’s perception of procedural justice and subsequent therapeutic outcome is suggested.