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2017-2018 Annual Report

From the Executive Director


This last fiscal year represented a year of big changes for Connecticut Legal Rights Project. We began July 2017 with a significantly reduced staff. We had to figure out how to most effectively represent our clients when we had fewer people available to do the work. We re- tooled our intake process. We focused on systemic cases. We sought additional funding that would allow us to continue to dedicate our resources to the issues that mattered most to our most marginalized clients.

We forged connections with new allies and strengthened our relationships with old friends. As the year ended, we welcomed two new staff attorneys. As this report goes to press, we are working on a re-design of our website. We responded to the allegations of patient abuse at Whiting Forensic Hospital by changing the way we do business. In the past, we met with clients in the facility’s professional visiting room. Pursuant to the terms of the consent decree that resulted in the establishment of CLRP, we are supposed to have “regular and reasonable” access to our clients and their living environments – i.e., the units at Whiting Service.

We now meet with Whiting Service clients on their units, just as we meet with clients at every other state-operated inpatient facility. We initiated a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all civilly committed patients in all of the state- operated inpatient psychiatric facilities. People with mental health conditions have the right to receive treatment in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. Because of the state’s failure to keep its promise to re-invest money saved by the closure of two large state hospitals into community-based services, people often spend months segregated in hospitals when they should be discharged to the community with voluntary supports in place. We thank you for your support of Connecticut Legal Rights Project.

We could not continue to do this important work on behalf of some of Connecticut’s most marginalized residents without your help.

Kathy Flaherty, Esq.
Executive Director





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