Collection Summary

Creator: Bonnie, Richard J.
Title: Addendum to the Papers of Richard J. Bonnie [e]
Accession: MSS 81-9e
Parent Collection: The Papers of Richard J. Bonnie
Description: 2 cartons
Location: This collection is stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections before your visit to ensure your papers are available.
Photograph Collection: View 1 digitized photographs
Digitized Content: 1 objects
Use Restrictions: Correspondence and certain confidential files restricted to scholars having Bonnie's permission for access.

Collection Description & Arrangement

Richard Bonnie donated these documents (2 cartons) to the Law Library in December of 1990. The two major groups of documents concern the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), chaired by Richard Bonnie from 1979-1985, and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The SHRC files document work to protect the rights of the mentally ill in Virginia's public institutions, and the APA files, the position of that organization relating to the rights of individuals, especially the mentally ill. Researchers must obtain Bonnie's permission to see the confidential SHRC files. Other files concern work that Bonnie did for the American Bar Association, the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy (ILPPP), Medicine in the Public Interest (MIPI), and the Virginia Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (VDMHMR). In general, all relate to mental health issues. In addition there are files documenting the Browning Hoffman Symposium sponsored by the Institute of Law Psychiatry and Public Policy.

Biographical & Historical Information

Richard Jeffrey Bonnie, John S. Battle Professor of Law and director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, is a recognized authority in the fields of mental health, drug law and criminal law. In addition to his roles at the Law School, where he began teaching in 1969, Bonnie has worked for the federal government in various capacities, and as a private consultant.

Born in 1945 at Richmond, Va., Bonnie received his bachelor of arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1966 and his law degree from Virginia three years later. He ranked first in his law school class, served on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review, and belonged to the Order of the Coif and the Raven Society. Following graduation, Bonnie taught at the Law School for a year before becoming associate director of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, serving from 1971 to 1973. In March 1972, the commission, under the direction of former Pennsylvania governor Raymond P. Shafer, unanimously recommended the decriminalization of consumption-related marijuana offenses. Although the report was endorsed by organizations such as the National Council of Churches and the National Education Association, it was quickly rejected by President Nixon and drew only a mixed response from state legislatures. An amendment to the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, drafted partially by Bonnie and incorporating the commission's findings, was approved by the National Conference of commissioners on Uniform
State Laws in 1973.

"From 1972 through 1977," Bonnie writes in the preface to his 1980 book, Marijuana Use and Criminal Sanctions, "I was actively involved in the effort to win legislative support for reforming the marijuana laws (p. iii)." During most of these years he was also teaching at the Law School (having returned in the fall of 1973), but he found time to participate in the marijuana reform movement in several ways. Bonnie was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (1975-1980), served as a special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, and helped write President Ford's White Paper on Drug Abuse in 1975. He testified on marijuana policy before two U.S. Senate subcommittees and 15 state legislative committees, and in 1976-1977 helped the National Governors' Conference develop its study on state marijuana penalties and policies. In 1977 he visited several European countries for the federal government, in part to explain the Carter administration's endorsement of marijuana decriminalization.

Besides Marijuana Use, Bonnie also co-authored The Marihuana Conviction (1974) with Virginia colleague Charles H. Whitebread II, as well as numerous articles on marijuana and drug law for scholarly journals and for periodicals ranging from the Washington Post to the National Enquirer. In the 1980s, Bonnie began to move away from drug law and turn his attention more to the fields of psychiatry, mental health and criminal law. He was chairman of the State Human Rights Committee (1979-1985), which was responsible for protecting the rights of the mentally ill and retarded in Virginia's public institutions, and co-authored a casebook on criminal law (1982) with Virginia professors Peter W. Low and John C. Jeffries, Jr. Bonnie became a noted expert on the insanity defense, a heated issue following the acquittal of John Hinckley, Jr. in 1982 for the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

Acquisition Information

Date Received 1990
Donor Information These papers were given to the Law Library in December of 1990 by Richard J. Bonnie.  

Content List

Box 1

  • 1978-1982, State Human Rights Committee (SHRC).  Advocate Quarterly Reports.
  • 1982, SHRC, Drafts of Records and Variances.

Box 2

  • 1980-1983, SHRC, General Information.
  • 1980, SHRC,  Grievance Procedure for State Employees.
  • 1980, SHRC, Human Rights Regulations.
  • 1979, SHRC, Human Rights Seminar.
  • 1981-1986, SHRC, Human Rights Seminars.
  • 1985, SHRC, Human Rights Systems.  Other States.
  • 1981-1989, SHRC, Human Rights Training Seminars.

Box 3

  • 1983-1989, SHRC, Meetings. (5 folders).
  • 1985, SHRC, Miscellaneous Documents.  (2 folders).

Box 4

  • 1979, SHRC, Partridge Case.
  • 1982, SHRC, Proposed Regulations, Comments and Letters. (2 folders).
  • 1982, SHRC, Provisional Regulations for Rights of Patients and Residents.
  • 1980, SHRC, Regulations, Procedure Rules, Departmental Instructions, Psychiatric Facilities.
  • 1984-1985, SHRC, Report of Task Force, Newspaper Clippings.  (2 folders).

Box 5

  • 1980-1982, SHRC, Revision of Human Rights Regulations.  (4 folders).
  • 1982, SHRC, Revision of Regulations to Assure the Rights of Patients and Residents.

Box 6

  • 1980, SHRC, Statement on Licensed Facilities.
  • 1983-1984, SHRC, Task Force on Substance Abuse.
  • 1982-1983, SHRC, Task Force on Chronic Patients.
  • 1983, SHRC, Training Materials for New Regulations.
  • 1979, SHRC, Training Program.
  • 1984-1985, SHRC, Transfer of Patient H.C.

Box 6a

  • 1979-1979, APA Commission on Judicial Action (3 folders).

Box 7

  • 1987, American Psychiatric Association [APA] Council.  Aids Policies.
  • 1979-1982, APA Council, Commitment of Adults.  (2 folders).
  • 1987-1989, APA Council, Confidentiality and Child Custody.
  • 1983, APA Council, Criminal Justice Mental Health Standard Project.  Draft.
  • 1979-1980, APA Council, Drug Regulatory Policies.
  • 1985-1989, APA Council, Duty to Warn Statement.

Box 8

  • 1978-1983, APA Council, Governmental Policy and Law. (2 folders).
  • 1987-1988, APA Council, Mental Illness and Driving.
  • 1987-1990, APA Council, Miscellaneous Papers.  (3 folders).
  • 1986, APA Council, Outpatient Commitment.

Box 9

  • 1983-1986, APA Council on Psychiatry and Law.  (4 folders).

Box 10

  • 1986-1987, APA Council on Psychiatry and Law.  (2 folders).
  • 1988-1990, APA Council On Psychiatry and Law, Miscellaneous Papers.  (2 folders).
  • 1988, APA Council, Reappointments, Minutes.
  • 1987-1989, APA Council, Right to Refuse Medication.
  • 1982, APA Council, Role of Psychiatry in Criminal Process.
  • 1976, APA, Informed Consent Papers. (2 folders).

Box 11

  • 1980, APA, Mental Health Systems Act.  (2 folders)
  • 1990, APA, Task Force on Outpatient Commitment.
  • 1987-1988, APA, United States v. Charters.  [Brief for Amicus Curiae American Psychological Association in Support of Appellant]
  • 1989, Virginia Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation [VDMHMR], Legislation.
  • 1984-1986, VDMHMR, Commission on Deinstitutionalization.  Newspaper clippings.  (2 folders).
  • 1978, VDMHMR, Central State Hospital, Rights of Patients, Proposals. 
  • 1983-1984, VDMHMR, Homes for Adults, Regulation.

Box 12

  • 1984-1985, VDMHMR, Newspaper Articles.
  • 1979-1982, VDMHMR, Variances: Central State Hospital.
  • 1979-1982, VDMHMR, Variances: Eastern State Hospital.
  • 1981, VDMHMR, Variances: Lynchburg Training School and Hospital.
  • 1978-1982, VDMHMR, Variances: Hiram Davis Medical Center.
  • 1978-1982, VDMHMR, Variances: Northern Virginia Training Center for the Mentally Retarded.
  • 1979-1983, VDMHMR, Variances: Piedmont Geriatric Hospital.
  • 1982, VDMHMR, Variance Quarterly Report.
  • 1979-1981, VDMHMR, Variance Request of the Rules and Regulations to Assure the Rights of Patients and Residents, Catawba Hospital.
  • 1980-1981, VDMHMR, Variances: Southeastern Virginia Training Center for the Mentally Retarded.
  • 1980-1982, VDMHMR, Variance: Southern Virginia Mental Health Institute.
  • 1979, VDMHMR, Variances: Southwestern Virginia Training Center.
  • 1978-1982, VDMHMR, Variances:  Southwestern State Hospital.
  • 1981, VDMHMR, Variances: Virginia Treatment Center for Children.
  • 1980, VDMHMR, Western State Hospital.

Box 13

  • 1976-1977, The American Association of Psychiatric Services for Children, ESPDT Conference.
  • 1976, American Bar Association [ABA], Commission on the Mentally Disabled Funding.
  • 1981-1984, ABA, Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards.  (4 folders).
  • 1986-1988, ABA, Mental Health, Task Force, Standards.

Box 14

  • 1983, American Society of Law and Medicine. Conference.
  • 1982-1983, Association of American Law Schools [AALS].  Law-Psychology Section.
  • 1990, Bleil, Charles, LL-M Thesis.
  • 1982-1983, Buschi, Brenden v. Dalton, John N.: Western State Hospital.
  • 1972-1974, Committee on Psychiatry and Law  [Browning Hoffman M.D. Correspondence]
  • 1981-1982, Commonwealth v. Clarence L. Terrel.  Confidential.
  • 1973, Criminal Justice Monitoring Project.

Box 15

  • 1982, Hoffman, Browning.  Condolence and Memorial.
  • 1978-1981, Hoffman Correspondence, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry.  (2 folders)
  • 1978, Hoffman, Paper on Forensic  Evaluation.
  • 1978, Hoffman, Psychiatry and Law Symposium, San Antonio, Tx.
  • 1985-1986, Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy [ILPPP], Omega v. Malloy & Va. Group Homes Legislation.  (2 folders)
  • 1985, ILPPP, Patient Legal Services Bill.


  • 1983, Local Human Rights Committee [LHRC], Northern Va.
  • 1985, LHRC, Complaints.
  • 1984-1985, LHRC, DeJarnette Center, Educational Concerns.
  • 1985, LHRC, Meeting.
  • 1981, LHRC, Investigation of Conditions at Western State Hospital.  Report.  (2 folders)

Box 17

  • 1988-1990, MacArthur Foundation, Program in Mental Health Law.  (3 folders)
  • 1978, Medicine In the Public Interest [MIPI], Conference on President's Commission on Mental Health.
  • 1975, MIPI, Human Experimentation. Paper presented at SMU.
  • 1981, Monahan, John, Article.
  • 1977-1980, Musto-Strategy Council.  [The White House].

Box 18

  • 1972, National Association for Mental Health.
  • 1981, Petrila, John, J.D., LL-M.
  • 1974, Practicing Law Institute [PLI], Conference.
  • 1977-1978, The Procedural Aspects of International Law Institute.  Drug Law Conference.
  • 1976, Tissue Culture Association, Inc., Bonnie's Notes.
  • 1989-1990, Va. Center for Prevention of Disease and Injury.

Box 19

  • 1987-1988, Va. Civil Commitment, Judicial Correspondence.
  • 1986-1990, Va. Death Penalty for the Mentally Disabled.
  • 1984-1986, Va. Group Homes.
  • 1983, Va. Insanity Defense Reforms Bills.  [Va, Legislation and Public Policy].
  • 1982, Va. Insanity State Task Force.  (2 folders)
  • 1988, Virginia Law Foundation [VLF], Mandatory Outpatient Treatment of the Mentally Ill.

Box 20

  • Restricted Files






Associated People

Use Policy

Access Correspondence and certain confidential files restricted to scholars having Bonnie's permission for access.
Use Restrictions Correspondence and certain confidential files restricted to scholars having Bonnie's permission for access.
Preferred Citation
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