The Liberal State and Its Mental Health Power

April 25-26, 2003

What: This 2-day conference will bring together mental health professionals, community leaders, bureaucrats, policymakers, academics and members of the legal profession to explore the mental health power under liberal governance.

When: All day Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26, 2003.

Where: Location: Lubar Commons, UW Law School room 7200.

Who: Open to students, faculty, attorneys, psychologists and the social services community.

Fees: The conference sessions are free and open to all except for the reception, closing banquet, and final panel session on Saturday evening at The University Club, which is $35 for anyone not participating on a panel.  Advance registration will be required for Saturday evening attendance; interested parties should register with Pam Hollenhorst at Please send a check for $35 made out to WLAA and mailed to Institute for Legal Studies, UW Law School, 975 Bascom Mall, Madison WI  53706-1399.

Registration: To register, send an email message with your name, contact information, and institutional affiliation to Pam Hollenhorst at

Sponsored by: The Project for Law and the Humanities, the Institute for Legal Studies, the Remington Center, the University of Wisconsin Law School, the Mendota Mental Health Institute, and the State Bar of Wisconsin, with support from the Evjue Foundation.

Overview: The mental health power includes both public and private issues of policy and jurisprudence, such as civil commitment, treatment of the sexual psychopath, the provision of health therapy, including insurance. The conference will also address the use of mental health power in education systems, including counseling and interaction with the police system. Each of these areas has contemporary controversy and significance -- policy is being rewritten for the treatment of sexual psychopaths as well as the provision of therapeutic services and the role of pharmaceutical industry.

The purpose of the conference is to assemble a comprehensive description of what is happening under the sign of mental health power in Wisconsin as a basis for generalizing present and future policy. Although the primary focus will be on the State of Wisconsin as the exemplary case analysis, the program will be augmented by presentations from people from other liberal states including England, Australia, and Canada.

Conference papers will be published in a book edited by Professor Leonard V. Kaplan and published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

For more information: Contact Pam Hollenhorst Associate Director, Institute for Legal Studies, University of Wisconsin Law School, at

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