In the 1970's most states tightened their standards for involuntary commitment. During the past fifteen years the movement has been in the opposite direction--relaxing those standards. This talk will apply ideas developed by former Law School Dean Norval Morris to explore the effects (if any) these changes have had and will have on the number of persons involuntarily confined in psychiatric hospitals and why other institutional arrangements are substantially more important in explaining past and future fluctuations in the number of such commitments.Mark Heyrman is Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on November 6, 2007 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas Series. © 2007 The University of Chicago Law School.