After months of research, the federal Office of Justice Programs has determined that assisted outpatient treatment is an “effective” and evidence-based practice for reducing crime and violence.

The "Crime Solutions" rating by the OJP is reserved for crime prevention strategies that “have strong evidence indicating they achieve their intended outcomes when implemented with fidelity,” including more than one study confirming the results.

aot-with-logoIn making the determination, the Office of Justice Programs cited multiple studies showing that assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) “significantly” reduces arrests for violent offenses, other arrests and violent behavior. In one cited study, the combination of at least six months of court-ordered outpatient treatment and outpatient services, the probability of violent behavior was cut in half.

“The federal government’s recognition of the growing mountain of evidence that AOT reduces crime is most welcome,” said Treatment Advocacy Center Policy Director Brian Stettin. “We hope the determination will encourage more states and communities to fully implement their AOT laws.”

Crime Solutions is “intended to be a central, reliable, and credible resource to help practitioners and policy makers understand what works in justice-related programs and practices” and to “assist in practical decision making and program implementation,” according to the Office of Justice Programs website. 

Advocates for assisted outpatient treatment are encouraged to send the determination to their lawmakers, mental health agency directors and others in a position to reform or implement involuntary treatment laws in their states. Visit Get Involved for tips on effective advocacy.

For detailed information about AOT, see our “Assisted Outpatient Treatment Laws” backgrounder updated in January. For information about your state’s AOT law, choose your state from the drop-down menu to the right or visit our civil commitment laws page.

(NOTE: The Crime Solutions website erroneously attributed cost information to the "State of Nevada" instead of to "Nevada County, California." The error is being corrected.)


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