AOT: Petitions for Treatment
According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) is court-ordered treatment (including medication) for individuals with severe mental illness who meet strict legal criteria, e.g., they have a history of medication noncompliance. Typically, violation of the court-ordered conditions can result in the individual being hospitalized for further treatment.
Forty-four states permit the use of assisted outpatient treatment (AOT), also called outpatient commitment. The six states that do not have assisted outpatient treatment statutes are Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Nevada and Tennessee.
A substantial body of research conducted in diverse jurisdictions over more than two decades establishes the effectiveness of assisted outpatient treatment in improving treatment outcomes for its target population. Specifically, the research demonstrates that AOT reduces the risks of hospitalization, arrest, incarceration, crime, victimization, and violence. AOT also increases treatment adherence and eases the strain placed on family members or other primary caregivers.