Bonnie Lauded by American Psychiatric Association

June 9, 2003

Richard Bonnie has been awarded the American Psychiatric Association's Special Presidential Commendation in recognition of his contributions to the APA's programs for more than two decades, especially to its Council on Psychiatry and the Law. The award was presented at the APA's Convocation of Fellows in San Francisco May 19.

Bonnie, the John S. Battle Professor of Law and the director of U.Va.'s Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, is a leading authority on law relating to mental health, substance abuse and public health.

Bonnie began his public service in 1973 as associate director of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. He served as a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (1975-80) and from 1979-1985 he was Chairman of Virginia's State Human Rights Committee, which is responsible for protecting the rights of residents and clients of Virginia's public mental health and mental retardation services system. Bonnie served from 1981-88 on the Advisory Board for the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards Project and from 1988-1996 on the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mental Health and the Law. He is currently participating in the MacArthur Foundation's Initiative on Mandated Community Treatment.

Bonnie was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1991. He currently chairs an NRC Academy panel on Elder Abuse and Neglect as well as an IOM/NRC committee on underage drinking, and is serving on an IOM Committee to Assess the System for Protection of Human Research Subjects. Bonnie has previously chaired IOM Committees on Injury Prevention and Control (1997-98) and Opportunities in Drug Abuse Research (1995-96), and served as vice-chair of the IOM Committee on Preventing Nicotine Dependence in Children and Youths (1993-94). He recently served on an IOM Committee to Assess the Science Base for Tobacco Harm Reduction (1999-2001) and a National Research Council Committee on Data and Research for Policy on Illegal Drugs (1998-2001). In 2001 he was selected as a "National Associate of the National Academies" for his "extraordinary service" to the IOM and NRC.

Bonnie has been deeply interested in issues involving psychiatry and human rights. In 1989 he was a member of the U.S. Department of State delegation that assessed changes in the Soviet Union relating to political abuse of psychiatry and performed a similar mission for the World Psychiatric Association in 1991. In 1995 he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry.

He has received numerous awards, including the American Psychiatric Association's Isaac Ray Award in 1998 for his contributions to forensic psychiatry and the psychiatric aspects of jurisprudence. He has served as an advisor to the APA's Council on Psychiatry and Law since 1979.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

News Highlights