April 8 Update:
The Department of Health Services, Behavioral Health is holding a community engagement session on April 19 at 4:00 p.m., where the community can learn more about Laura’s Law/Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). There will be time for attendees to ask questions and they will hear from a variety of perspectives about AOT, including how it is operationalized, successes, challenges and other considerations. The public is invited to register for the April 19 community engagement session on AOT
March 22 Update:
Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services is offering additional time to gather community member input regarding Laura’s Law/Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). Please complete the brief online survey
by Friday, March 26 to let us know if you think Sacramento County should opt-in or opt-out of Laura’s Law/AOT. Thank you to all who participated in the community sessions last week – please see details provided below.
March 9, 2021
Laura’s Law was signed into law in the State of California in 2002 as Assembly Bill 1421, which assigned counties the option of implementing court-ordered AOT. In the last legislative cycle, AB 1976 went into law changing AOT from an opt-in program and now counties are required to implement AOT or opt-out by July 1, 2021.
AOT is a court-ordered outpatient treatment service for adults, ages 18 years and older, who have a serious mental illness and a history of (a) psychiatric hospitalizations, (b) incarcerations, or (c) acts, threats or attempts of serious violent behavior towards themselves or others. Consumers must first be offered voluntary treatment within the past 10 days. The court cannot order involuntary administration of medications.
Family members, roommates, treatment providers and law enforcement may request an investigation to determine whether the consumer meets criteria. Only the County mental health director or his or her designee may file a petition with the court. The person named in the petition has a right to a defender appointed by the court.
If a judge finds that the individual meets the criteria, the AOT order would be for a 180-day treatment period and not to exceed 180 days. After 180 days, the director of the AOT program can apply for an additional 180 days of treatment. If the consumer is not compliant with treatment, the consumer can be transported to a hospital and held up to 72 hours. After 72 hours, the same hospitalization inpatient criteria such as being a danger to self, others, or gravely disabled.
If you are interested in participating in either of the online community sessions on March 15 or March 16, please register by going to the Laura’s Law/Assisted Outpatient Treatment flyer
. Interpreters and accommodations will be available upon request.
Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services provides a full array of culturally competent and linguistically proficient mental health services to individuals of all ages. Services include prevention and early intervention, outpatient services, case management services, crisis intervention and stabilization services, and inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations. Learn more about Sacramento County mental health services