An "assisted outpatient treatment" (AOT) law, also called Outpatient Civil Commitment, would help immensely in Maryland. The concept is simply to require a patient who has demonstrated difficulty adhering to outpatient treatment on a voluntary basis to follow a court-approved treatment plan as a condition of remaining in the community. At the same time, the court order requires mental health providers to provide adequate monitoring and the full array of services listed in the treatment plan. Many AOT programs in other states have been the subject of studies — most exhaustively in North Carolina and New York — and have been shown to reduce hospitalization, homelessness, incarceration and, not the least, the costs of care for individuals with major mental illness. All that AOT does is bring the legal authority to compel treatment, already established for decades in hospitals, to the modern era of outpatient care. In other words, the law needs to be deinstitutionalized, too.