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New York State’s Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program


To evaluate the implementation, status and efficacy of the State’s AOT program, which is set to expire on June 30, 2005.


April 21, 2005
11:00 AM
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
One Lafayette Square

In 1999, New York State enacted legislation that created a statutory framework for providing court-ordered Assisted Outpatient Treatment to persons with mental illness who, in view of their treatment history and circumstances, may be unlikely to survive safely in the community without appropriate services and support. In enacting this law, the Legislature found that in order for AOT to achieve its goals, court-ordered treatment must be linked to a system of comprehensive care in which the State and local authorities work together to ensure access to treatment services. The statute, commonly referred to as Kendra’s Law, is set to expire on June 30, 2005.

Since the implementation of Kendra’s Law, over 10,000 individuals have been referred to local AOT coordinators for the purpose of determining their potential eligibility for court-ordered treatment. Court orders have been issued across the State for more than 3,700 of such referred individuals. It is the Committees’ intention to solicit testimony from interested parties regarding the utilization and efficacy of the state AOT program, and the resultant impact of the program on counties across the State. The Committees are interested in hearing from all stakeholders, including persons presently or formerly under court-ordered treatment, persons diagnosed with mental illness, family members of persons diagnosed with mental illness, mental health providers, local and state government officials, court system staff, and others involved in AOT program administration.

Please see the reverse side for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony, and for a description of the bills which will be discussed at the hearing.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committees at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes’ duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committees will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committees would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committees’ interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Peter M. Rivera
Member of Assembly
Committee on Mental Health,
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Joseph R. Lentol
Member of Assembly
Committee on Codes


  1. Has the AOT program been successful in providing appropriate supervision and treatment that assists certain persons with mental illness?

  2. Have treatment plans been appropriately matched to the needs of individuals? Have needed services been available for those under AOT court orders, and what occurs when services are not available?

  3. Why is Kendra’s Law used more frequently in some areas of the State than in others?

  4. What has been the experience of those who have sought petitions for court orders for AOT? Have local AOT coordinators followed through with investigations in a timely way once an individual is referred to them?

  5. What impact has the AOT program had on community-based services?

  6. Although a substantial portion of investigations have led to court orders, twenty-eight percent of investigations have led to service enhancements rather than court orders. In general, are the service enhancements provided to these individuals appropriate and effective in meeting treatment needs?

  7. What has been the experience of individuals under an AOT court order who have moved from one New York county to another? Have these relocated individuals been connected to services in their new county of residence?

  8. What has been the rate of utilization and impact of the Medication Grant Program established pursuant to Kendra’s Law? Is the program effective in meeting the medication needs of certain individuals with serious and persistent mental illness pending a Medicaid eligibility determination? How could the Medication Grant Program be improved?

  9. What changes to Kendra’s Law, if any, should the Legislature consider that would improve the lives of individuals with mental illness and their families?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on New York State’s AOT program are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail it to:

Jennifer Best
Committee Assistant
Assembly Committee on Mental Health,
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Room 522 Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: bestj@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4371
Fax: (518) 455-4693

box I plan to attend the following public hearing on New York State’s AOT program to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and the Assembly Committee on Codes on April 21, 2005.

box I plan to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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