Reductions in arrest under assisted outpatient treatment in New York.
OBJECTIVE: Individuals with serious mental illness have a relatively high risk of criminal justice involvement. Assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) is a legal mechanism that mandates treatment for individuals with serious mental illness who are unlikely to live safely in the community without supervision and who are also unlikely to voluntarily participate in treatment. Under an alternative arrangement, some individuals for whom an AOT order is pursued sign a voluntary service agreement in lieu of a formal court order. This study examined whether AOT recipients have lower odds of arrest than persons with serious mental illness who have not yet initiated AOT or signed a voluntary service agreement. METHODS: Interview data from 2007 to 2008 from an evaluation of AOT in New York State were matched with arrest records from 1999 to 2008 for 181 individuals and analyzed using multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: The odds of arrest for participants currently receiving AOT were nearly two-thirds lower (OR=.39, p<.01) than for individuals who had not yet initiated AOT or signed a voluntary service agreement. The odds of arrest among individuals currently under a voluntary service agreement (OR=.64) were not significantly different than for individuals who had not yet initiated either arrangement. The adjusted predicted probabilities of arrest in any given month were 3.7% for individuals who had not yet initiated AOT or a voluntary agreement, 1.9% for individuals currently on AOT, and 2.8% for individuals currently under a voluntary agreement. CONCLUSIONS: AOT may be an important part of treatment efforts to reduce criminal justice involvement among people with serious mental illness.
Gilbert, AR; Moser, LL; Van Dorn, RA; Swanson, JW; Wilder, CM; Robbins, PC; Keator, KJ; Steadman, HJ; Swartz, MS
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