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Quote from Wikipedia : Florida Mental Health Act
The Florida Mental Health Act of 1971 (commonly known as the "Baker Act") is a Florida statute allowing for involuntary examination of an individual.
It was originally enacted, at least in part, because of widespread instances of elder abuse, in which one or more family members would have another family member committed in order to gain control over their estate prior to their death.
Once committed, it was difficult for many of the patients to obtain representation, and they became warehoused until their death.
The Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee, Florida was notorious for housing many such patients.
The Baker Act allows for involuntary examination (what some call emergency or involuntary commitment).
It can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officials, physicians or mental health professionals.
There must be evidence that the person has a mental illness (as defined in the Baker Act) and
is a harm to self, harm to others, or self neglectful (as defined in the Baker Act).
Examinations may last up to 72 hours and occur in over 100 Florida Department of Children and Families-designated receiving facilities statewide.