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CLRP was established as the result of a law suit filed by the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) in 1989 against the Department of Mental Health (now the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services - DMHAS).

The complaint in Doe v. Hogan alleged that residents of the state’s psychiatric hospitals were being denied their constitutional and statutory rights to legal assistance. The parties settled the case and, with the assistance of a panel of experts, had the Consent Decree approved by the Court

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