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Civil Commitments

The White Earth Civil Commitment Program is a component of the behavioral health services offered through White Earth Substance Abuse and White Earth Tribal Mental Health. The Program provides assistance to individuals who are in need of chemical dependency and mental health services, but are unwilling or unable to access those services voluntarily. In order to be considered, an individual must have unmet behavioral health needs and be gravely disabled and/or a danger to themselves or others. The individual must also be a member or descendant of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, or a member of any other federally recognized Tribal Nation, and must reside within the exterior boundaries of the White Earth Reservation.

Referrals to the White Earth Civil Commitment Program may be made by concerned individuals including family members, significant others, friends, etc. Referrals may also be made by treatment facilities or other social services agencies. An Intake Specialist with the Program assists people with completing the documentation required. The matter is then reviewed by a Prepetition Screening Team of professionals to determine whether proceedings for involuntary civil commitment meet criteria. The prepetition screening team requirement may be waived in the event of an emergency. Individuals referred for civil commitment proceedings are encouraged first to engage in services voluntarily, and may rely on the assistance of Program Case Managers to access services.

Individuals subject to Petitions for Involuntary Civil Commitment are advised of their rights, and are appointed an attorney to represent them in proceedings before the White Earth Tribal Court. Cases are reviewed frequently by the Court and individuals are encouraged to attend the hearings. Court cases for involuntary civil commitment are generally open for approximately six months to one year. The Court may determine prior to the close of the proceedings that involvement of the Court is no longer necessary, and the proceedings may close. Proceedings for involuntary civil commitment are confidential. Only parties to those proceedings and those with permission from the individual named in the proceedings may be present and participate. There are Case Mangers in the Program who work directly with the clients. The Case Managers have frequent contact, monitor progress and report to the court.

Anyone with questions regarding the White Earth Civil Commitment Program may contact Jordan McArthur or Tom McGraw at (218) 983-3286, ext. 1336 or 1307.