HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC and AP) – An advocacy group has filed suit against Connecticut’s mental health agency alleging patients are sometimes held in restrictive settings long after they’ve demonstrated an ability to function in the community.

The suit was filed Thursday by the nonprofit Connecticut Legal Rights Project.

Executive Director Kathleen Flaherty tells the Hartford Courant that Connecticut is one of the few states that allows for unlimited civil commitments, and patients have remained institutionalized for months or even years after they were declared ready for discharge. Many states have a 90-day initial commitment cap.

The lawsuit names the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. State officials did respond to a request for comment.

The suit aims to push the state to expand its community network where residents have access to medical and mental health care.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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