Department of Justice Touts AOT as Effective Criminal Justice Program

Image: Seal of the Department of Justice

New research from the Department of Justice (DOJ) has found that outpatient treatment is an effective tool in helping professionals with criminal justice degrees on their resumes do a better job.


According to the DOJ’s Office of Justice, court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) is an evidence-based practice that works to significantly reduce arrests and violent behavior by those with untreated severe mental illnesses. In one study, the combination of a court order for at least 6 months and outpatient services cut the risk of increased violent behavior in half.

Researchers in recent years have erased any doubt that assisted outpatient treatment dramatically improves outcomes for people with severe mental illness who struggle to adhere to treatment, said Treatment Advocacy Center Policy Director Brian Stettin. “The federal government’s recognition of the growing mountain of evidence that AOT reduces crime is most welcome.”

Stettin added he hopes the determination will encourage more states and communities to fully implement their AOT laws.

Currently 44 states authorize some form of AOT.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities for criminal investigators are expected to increase by 17% through the end of the decade.

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