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AOT: Assisted Outpatient Treatment

Laura’s Law is the name of California’s Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) law.  AOT provides an avenue to treatment for those with a mental illness who are not accepting help. The Laura’s Law state statute allows each county to authorize and fund an Assisted Outpatient Treatment program to provide court ordered treatment, under certain stringent conditions, for a person with severe mental illness. AOT programs may differ widely from county to county. This site gives you general information about AOT and Laura’s Law, as well as LA County specific information. The LA County program is administered through the county’s Department of Mental Health (DMH),

On Tuesday, July 15, 2014, The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to implement Laura’s Law countywide, making it the third major California county – and the largest – to embrace court-ordered treatment as a tool for making treatment possible to individuals with severe mental illness who are too ill to seek help for themselves.  The number of California counties having adopted a Laura’s Law AOT  has steadily increased since 2013.  At this writing (July 2015) counties that have programs include: San Francisco, Orange, Yolo, Mendocino, San Diego and Nevada counties.  A number of other counties are in the process of adopting AOT but have not finalized adoption.  The time lag after a county adopts and AOT program until it rolls it out may be considerable because of the complexity of coordinating the bureaucracies involved.  LA County’s  implementation took nearly a year to plan and coordinate, with the program finally being launched countywide in June 2015.

AOT Overview

It is well established that Assisted Outpatient Treatment laws:

  • save lives
  • reduce homelessness and hospitalizations
  • reduce arrests and incarceration
  • reduce violence, crime, and victimization
  • help families and reduce caregiver stress
  • cost less than arrest and incarceration

What is AOT? is an excellent informational fact-sheet on AOT from TAC, the Treatment Advocacy Center.

LAURA’S LAW MAY PROVIDE RELIEF TO FAMILIES OF THE SERIOUSLY MENTALLY ILL OFFENDER by  AUGUST 10, 2018. This excellent overview can be found on California Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog.  This article is a great place to start if you are new to this subject.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment for Los Angeles (AOT-LA):

The AOT-LA program allows  the county Department of Mental Health to serve seriously mentally ill persons at substantial risk of deterioration as a direct result of poor psychiatric treatment compliance.

AOT eligible individuals are outreached in an effort to voluntarily engage them in Full Service Partnership (FSP) services.

  • If services are refused, AOT-LA may petition the court to order the individual into psychiatric outpatient treatment.
  • AOT-LA Program expands inter-agency collaboration among courts, County Counsel, Public Defender, Patients’ Rights, and local law enforcement.

Follow this link to the LA County DMH webpage Assisted Outpatient Treatment for Los Angeles (AOT-LA). Here you will find the latest information and updates about Assisted Outpatient Treatment in this county.  Because it’s missing from the AOT page, here is a direct link to the LA County Department of Mental Health AOT Brochure

Related Links

Getting Your Loved One Help in California, Treatment Advocacy Center

Laura’s Law Home Page of the Mental Illness Policy Org.

Grading the States: California Treatment Report Card

Laura’s Law, MHSA, & Serious Mental Illness in California   Facebook page

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