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Welcome to Connecticut Legal Rights Project

Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc., (CLRP) is a statewide non-profit agency which provides legal services to low income individuals with mental health conditions, who reside in hospitals or the community, on matters related to their treatment, recovery, and civil rights ... [ more ]

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Statement from Kathy Flaherty, Executive Director In the Wake of Passage of SB 450, An Act Concerning Connecticut Valley and Whiting Forensic Hospitals

Statement from Kathy Flaherty, Executive Director In the Wake of Passage of SB 450, An Act Concerning Connecticut Valley and Whiting Forensic Hospitals... [ more ]

Join Us For the Next Webinar

Please join us for the next webinar in the series from Disability Rights Connecticut, Connecticut Legal Rights Project and Center for Children's Advocacy (sponsored by CT Council on Developmental Disabilities) is coming on March 18... [ more ]

CLRP joins DRCT to Lobby Governor to Prioritize Distribution of COVID-19 Test Kits, Masks to State's Most Vulnerable Residents

January 3, 2022- In a letter dated December 31, 2021, Disability Rights Connecticut and the Connecticut Legal Rights Project said the state's "failure to provide equitable access to testing and N95 masks" violates state and federal anti-discrimination law. They wrote that disabled people, including those in prisons, psychiatric hospitals and group homes, should receive priority in the distribution process... [ more ]

CLRP Announces 2022 Legislative Agenda

October 14, 2021- Connecticut Legal Rights Project is pleased to announce its' Legislative Agenda for 2022... [ more ]

Opinion: Taking a stand against metal detector policy at New Haven agency

Op-Ed as published by the New Haven Register on August 2, 2021.Source:

We, the undersigned New Haven community members, write to demand accountability and transparency with regards to the state of justice and equity at the Connecticut Mental Health Center.... [ more ]

Conservator Will Be Held Accountable for Depleting Elderly Woman's Life Savings

July 6, 2021- Middletown Connecticut

Conservator Will Be Held Accountable for Depleting Elderly Woman's Life Savings

Judge Cesar Noble of the Hartford Superior Court issued a decision in consolidated probate appeals for 77 year-old Ruth Strong,that holds her former conservator, Attorney Lisa Foy, accountable for failing to spend down Strong's savings in a way that would have sheltered them, and for exposing Strong to liability for an unpaid bill to the nursing home.

Newington Probate Court Judge Robert Randich issued a decision in July 2019... [ more ]

Changing the Conversation About Mental Health In the Wake of Mass Shooting Events

March 29, 2021- Predictably, it's already been suggested that the recent mass shooting in Colorado was more an issue of mental health than anything else.... Kathy Flaherty of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project says that kind of thinking tends to be both a mistake and harmful to people with psychiatric disabilities. She spoke about this on Connecticut Public Radio's All Things Considered. [ more ]

Its Objectives Achieved, the Wilkes Case is Dismissed

The case of Wilkes v. Lamont was filed in response to COVID-19 deaths and unsafe conditions in two of Connecticut's state psychiatric hospitals, Connecticut Valley Hospital and Whiting Forensic Hospital. In the spring COVID-19 surge, five patients died and scores of patients and staff were infected... [ more ]

CLRP 2021 Legislative Agenda

If this legislative agenda looks familiar, that's because it is. This represents CLRP's legislative agenda for 2020 – a session that was cut short by COVID-19... [ more ]

Fair Housing Rights for Persons with Mental Health Conditions

Thanks to a partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the State of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) and CLRP presented a webinar on Zoom on June 30, 2020. This is a recording of the webinar... [ more ]


The Psychiatric Security Review Board was established during the 1980's, after the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, with the purpose of "protect[ing] the safety of Connecticut citizens by ordering treatment, confinement or conditional release of persons acquitted of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect." Unfortunately... [ more ]

Leading Disability Rights Groups File Preliminary Injunction Addressing Undue COVID-19 Risk at Mental Health Facilities

June 10, 2020 – The Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and Center for Public Representation this week filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in a class action case challenging Connecticut's failure to take adequate steps to protect residents of two state psychiatric hospitals from contracting and dying from COVID-19. Both hospitals, Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH) and Whiting Forensic Hospital (WFH), have had outbreaks of the virus. Five patients at CVH have died from COVID-19. At CVH and WFH, Defendants have confirmed 73 cases of COVID-19 among patients and 64 cases among staff, since testing began... [ more ]

A Statement on the Murder of George Floyd at the Hands of Minneapolis Police Officers, and the Killings of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee by Louisville Police.

June 8, 2020- The Connecticut Legal Rights Project condemns the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police officers, and the killings of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee by Louisville police. It is not enough... [ more ]

CLRP Files Amended Complaint in Federal Court Case Addressing the Spread of Covid-19 in CVH and Whiting

CLRP has filed an amended complaint in the federal court case addressing the spread of Covid-19 in Connecticut Valley Hospital and Whiting... [ more ]

CLRP Files Federal Complaint Against State to Ensure Patient Safety at State Operated Psychiatric Facilities Amidst Covid-19

April 30, 2020- Middletown, CT- "Business as usual" is not what the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services should be doing right now if they want to do more to save the lives of the people in their care. This pandemic has required all of us to re-examine our processes and the way we do our work. We have done that at Connecticut Legal Rights Project. It is time for DMHAS to do the same, even if it takes an order from a federal court to make that happen. This week marked the first COVID-19 related death of someone in a state-operated inpatient psychiatric facility. We need more than the Department's "thoughts and prayers."... [ more ]

CLRP Encourages Gov. Lamont to issue Executive Order to Release Patients at State Operated Psychiatric Facilities Due to Dangers of COVID-19

April 18, 2020- Middletown, CT - In light of the significant danger imposed by COVID-19 on on patients at inpatient psychiatric units at state operated psychiatric facilities, Connecticut Legal Rights Project sent a letter to Governor Ned Lamont and Attorney General William Tong to request the Governor issue an Executive Order that would immediately immediately stop all new admissions to all state-operated psychiatric facilities, require that every facility review the present mental status of each patient, require that each facility make every effort to discharge every patient who does not absolutely need inpatient hospital level of care, and require that each facility make every effort to discharge every patient for whom the risks of inpatient psychiatric care in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic outweigh the benefits of that level of care when such discharge does not pose an unreasonable risk to the public. [ more ]

An Important Message re: Covid-19 from CLRP Executive Director, Kathy Flaherty, Esq.

March 16, 2020- Important Message re: Covid-19 from CLRP Executive Director, Kathy Flaherty, Esq.- CLRP's top priority during this public health emergency is the protection of the health and safety of our staff, and the clients we serve. We are still working to protect our clients' legal rights, but we have, by necessity, changed the way we are doing it... [ more ]

Lawmakers get an earful on issues at legislative forum

January 28, 2020 - by Erica Drzewiecki, Newington Town Crier -NEWINGTON- Health care and education are important to residents, legislators gathered from a recent meeting.

State Reps. Gary Turco, Kerry Wood and Rick Lopes heard about these and other issues pressing people during a Pre-Session Forum at the Lucy Robbins Welles Library. Close to two dozen residents aired their grievances ahead of the short 2020 session, beginning Feb. 5.

"We can't be experts on everything out there," Turco said. "We ask all of you for advice on things you're experts on. Educate us and collaborate with us so we can make the best possible decisions."

Kathleen Flaherty, executive director of the non-profit Connecticut Legal Rights Project, offered her perspective as an advocate for low-income and mentally ill individuals.... [ more ]

Housing Affordability: Two New Year's Resolutions for State

January 2, 2020 -  CLRP Vice Chairman, Dwight Merriam submitted an Op-Ed that was published in the Connecticut Post. Housing Affordability: Two New Year's resolutions for state  - The lack of affordable housing in many Connecticut communities is more than a zoning or diversity issue, it is a human rights issue. A decent place to live in any of our 169 towns should not be a privilege of the wealthy — it should be a basic right of all residents of our state... [ more ]

Executive Director, Kathy Flaherty Honored with Award

November 22, 2019 CLRP Executive Director, Kathy Flaherty received the Constance Baker Motley Award for Excellence in Business or Law from the Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities at their annual Leaders and Legends Award Ceremony on November 21, 2019 at the Bond Hotel in Hartford. Kathy was acknowleged for her unwaivering commitment to advocate for and represent  low-income persons with mental health conditions. [ more ]

CLRP Signs On to Letter Regarding RESPONSE Act

October 25, 2019- CLRP joined over 20 national organizations including disability rights, education and civil rights groups to bring concerns to light regarding the Restoring, Enhancing, Strengthening, and Promoting Our Nation's Safety Efforts (RESPONSE) Act, legislation introduced by Senator Cornyn... [ more ]

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