The purpose of the 1981 major revision of Alaska civil commitment statutes (AS 47.30.660 and 47.30.670 - 47.30.915) is to more adequately protect the legal rights of persons suffering from mental illness. The legislature has attempted to balance the individual's constitutional right to physical liberty and the state's interest in protecting society from persons who are dangerous to others and protecting persons who are dangerous to themselves by providing due process safeguards at all stages of commitment proceedings. In addition, the following principles of modern mental health care have guided this revision:
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