Richard Bonnie headshot
RB

Richard J. Bonnie

Professor
Director
Unit: School of Law
Department: School of Law
Office location and address
WB179D
580 Massie Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Education
LL.B. University of Virginia School of Law 1969
B.A. Johns Hopkins University 1966
Biography

Richard J. Bonnie is Harrison Foundation Professor of Law and Medicine, Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, and Director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. ­­He teaches and writes about health law and policy, bioethics, criminal law, and public policies relating to mental health, substance abuse, and public health. He has co-authored leading textbooks on criminal law and public health law. His first book, The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States (1974) was republished in 1999 as a “drug policy classic.”

Bonnie has been actively involved in public service throughout his career. Among other positions, he has been Associate Director of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse (1971-73); Secretary of the first National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (1975-80); chair of Virginia’s State Human Rights Committee responsible for protecting rights of persons with mental disabilities (1979-85), and chief advisor for the ABA Criminal Justice­ Mental Health Standards Project (1981-88). He recently chaired a Commission on Mental Health Law Reform at the request of the Chief Justice of Virginia (2006-2011) and is now chairing an expert advisory panel for the Virginia General Assembly’s Study of Mental Health Services in the 21st Century.

Bonnie has ­served as an advisor to the American Psychiatric Association Council on Psychiatry and Law since 1979, received the APA’s Isaac Ray Award in 1998 for contributions to the field of forensic psychiatry, and was awarded special presidential commendations in 2003 and 2016 for his contributions to American psychiatry. He has also served on three MacArthur Foundation research networks -- on Mental Health and the Law (1988-96), Mandated Community Treatment (2000–2010) and Law and Neuroscience (since 2008).

Bonnie was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1991 and has chaired numerous studies for the National Academies on subjects ranging from elder mistreatment to underage drinking, including the landmark report, Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation (2007). Most recently, he chaired two Academy studies on juvenile justice reform (2013, 2014) as well as related studies on the health and well-being of young adults (2014) and the minimum legal age for access to tobacco (2015). He is currently chairing a study on policies needed to end the opioid epidemic in the United States. He received the Yarmolinsky Medal in 2002 for his contributions to the National Academies. He was elected to the American Law Institute in 2014.

In 2007, Bonnie received the University of Virginia’s highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award.

Implementing Advance Directives in VA-Phase 7
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2018 – June 30, 2019
LW-INSTJoint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century
Source: Commonwealth of Va. Div. of Legislative Services
November 01, 2017 – December 31, 2018
Implementing Advance Directives in VA-Phase 6
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2017 – June 30, 2018
LW-Mental Health Law Reform, Phase 9
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
September 14, 2017 – June 30, 2018
LW-Mental Health Law Reform - Phase 9-Federal
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2017 – June 30, 2018
Mental Health Law Reform, Phase 8
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2016 – December 31, 2017
LW- Implementing Virginia's Health Care Decisions Act, Phase 5
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2016 – June 30, 2017
LW-Mental Health Law Reform, Phase 8 -Federal
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2016 – June 30, 2017
LW- Firearms Laws, Mental Disorder, Violence
Source: Duke University
January 01, 2015 – August 31, 2016
LW-Implementing Virginia's Health Care Decision Act, Phase 4
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2015 – June 30, 2016
LW-Mental Health Law Reform-Ph 7
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2015 – June 30, 2016
MacArthur Research Network onLaw and Neuroscience Administrative Subcontract
Source: Vanderbilt University
July 01, 2011 – December 31, 2015
LW-Mental Health Law Reform, Phase 6
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2014 – September 30, 2015
LW Implementing Virginia's Health Care Decision Act - Phase III
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2014 – August 31, 2015
LW-Implementing Virginia's Health Care Decision Act-Phase II
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
December 01, 2012 – September 15, 2014
LW-Mental Health Law Reform, Phase 5
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
July 01, 2013 – June 30, 2014
Facilitating the Implementation of Virginia's Health Care Decisions Act
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
June 01, 2010 – November 30, 2013
Commission on Mental Health Law Reform, Phase IV
Source: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental
October 01, 2011 – June 30, 2013
Capital Mitigation Seminar for Capital Case Counsel
Source: U.S. Department Of Justice
September 01, 2008 – March 31, 2013
LAW 6003: Criminal Law
Credits: 3
This course explores the basic principles of Anglo-American criminal law, including the constituent elements of criminal offenses, the necessary predicates for criminal liability, the major concepts of justification and excuse, and the conditions under which offenders can be liable for attempt. Major emphasis is placed on the structure and interpretation of modern penal codes.
LAW 7143: Youth Law
Credits: 3
This course covers selected legal aspects of the law governing parents and children, with a particular focus on the changing legal status of adolescents and young adults.
PSYC 7559: New Course in Psychology
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of psychology.
LAW 8812: Independent Research
Credits: 2
This course is a semester-long independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member
LAW 9274: Regulation of Addictive Drugs Seminar
Credits: 3
This seminar will focus on medical management of pain, and particularly the use of opioid analgesics, the public health consequences of misuse and abuse of these drugs and the actions that should be taken to protect the public health while assuring adequate access to pain control by patients with severe and chronic pain.
LAW 9279: Current Issues in Law and Psychological Science
Credits: 3
This seminar will examine the legal and scientific questions raised by the use of psychological evidence in the courtroom.
LAW 9312: Seminar on Mental Health Law Reform - Fall (YR)
Credits: 2
This year-long seminar will explore some of the major challenges of designing and implementing mental health law and policy in the 21st century. Coverage will be coordinated with the work of an expert advisory panel chaired by Professor Bonnie for the Virginia General Assembly. Students will review ongoing empirical research and participate in work groups focusing on key topics being addressed by the expert advisory panels/Gen. Assembly.
LAW 9313: Seminar on Mental Health Law Reform - Spring (YR)
Credits: 2
This year-long seminar will explore some of the major challenges of designing and implementing mental health law and policy in the 21st century. Coverage will be coordinated with the work of an expert advisory panel chaired by Professor Bonnie for the Virginia General Assembly. Students will review ongoing empirical research and participate in work groups focusing on key topics being addressed by the expert advisory panels/Gen. Assembly.
LAW 9314: Law of Adolescence - Fall (YR)
Credits: 2
This seminar will explore advances in scientific understanding of adolescent development and the implications of this knowledge for laws and policies governing parenting, education, employment, health, child welfare, juvenile justice and other social systems affecting adolescent wellbeing. The seminar will be coordinated with a major consensus study on adolescence and equity now being conducted by NASEM.
LAW 9315: Law of Adolescence - Spring (YR)
Credits: 2–3
This seminar will explore advances in scientific understanding of adolescent development and the implications of this knowledge for laws and policies governing parenting, education, employment, health, child welfare, juvenile justice and other social systems affecting adolescent wellbeing. The seminar will be coordinated with a major consensus study on adolescence and equity now being conducted by NASEM
PSYC 9559: New Course in Psychology
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of psychology.