Connecticut Deinstitutionalization Suit
More than 200 Connecticut psychiatric patients are forced to live in nursing homes, often in locked wards, when other locations would better suit them and be less costly, advocates for the mentally ill said in a lawsuit filed Monday.
The federal lawsuit, brought by the state's Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, accuses Connecticut of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws.
Although the lawsuit focuses on patients at three Connecticut nursing facilities, OPA Executive Director James McGaughey said the implications extend far beyond those individuals and places.
"Institutionalizing people when they want to live in the community, and it is possible for them to live in the community with the proper supports, is a violation of their civil rights," he said.