Texas Tech University

Law Professor Donates Time, Effort for Book

George Watson

June 1, 2015

The National Alliance on Mental Illness-Texas received a grant from the Texas Bar Foundation for a book Brian Shannon will draft.

Brian Shannon

Texas Tech University School of Law Professor Brian Shannon will draft the fifth edition of a book on criminal procedure and mental illness thanks to a generous grant from the Texas Bar Foundation.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness-Texas (NAMI-Texas) has received a grant from the Texas Bar Foundation for the development, production and distribution of the fifth edition of the book, “Texas Criminal Procedure and the Offender with Mental Illness: An Analysis and Guide.” The grant includes funds to support law student research assistance.

“I am delighted the Texas Bar Foundation has agreed to fund this education project once more. It has been great to collaborate over the years with NAMI-Texas,” said Shannon, a Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and a recognized expert on mental health law who will draft the book on a pro bono basis. “I'm also very proud the books have been widely used by judges, prosecutors and attorneys in numerous cases across the state.”

Since 1993, the Texas Bar Foundation has provided four grants to NAMI-Texas for four earlier editions of this detailed guide concerning Texas criminal procedure and offenders with mental illness. Shannon and the late Horn Professor Daniel Benson donated their time to research, write and produce all four editions of the book.

As with previous editions, NAMI-Texas will use grant funds to distribute free copies of the book to district and county court judges, criminal district attorneys, county attorneys, criminal defense attorneys, mental health consumer groups, family members of persons with mental illness, Texas libraries and many others. A free version of the new edition will be made available on the NAMI-Texas website.

The publication and distribution of these books have been intended to promote justice by being an important educational tool. Many members of the practicing bench and bar, as well as the public in general, often are not well informed concerning the issues facing persons suffering from mental illness, particularly when those persons also are caught up in the criminal justice system. 

Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $16 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation's largest charitably-funded bar foundation.