AOT - Assisted Outpatient Treatment


On August 9, 1999, NYS Governor George E. Pataki signed Kendra's Law (Chapter 408 of the Laws of 1999), creating a statutory framework for court-ordered Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) to ensure that individuals with mental illness and a history of hospitalizations or violence participate in community-based services appropriate to their needs. Kendra's Law defines specific eligibility criteria for the AOT target population, which are listed below.

An individual may be placed in AOT only if, after a hearing, the court finds that all of the following have been met. The individual must:

  • be eighteen years of age or older; and
  • suffer from a mental illness; and
  • be unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision, based on a clinical determination; and
  • have a history of non-adherence with treatment that has:
    a. been a significant factor in his or her being in a hospital, prison or jail at least twice within the last 36 months; or
    b. resulted in one or more acts, attempts or threats of serious violent behavior toward self or others within the last 48 months; and
  • be unlikely to voluntarily participate in treatment; and
  • be, in view of his or her treatment history and current behavior, in need of assisted outpatient treatment in order to prevent a relapse or deterioration which would be likely to result in serious harm to the person or others; and
  • be likely to benefit from AOT.

The court-ordered treatment must be the least restrictive alternative which will allow the individual to live safely in the community.

 Additional information can be found at the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) website.