Trouble in Mind

Trouble in Mind is a six-part series exploring the intersections of the mental health and criminal justice systems in Texas. It examines the case of Andre Thomas, a death row inmate who began exhibiting signs of mental illness as a boy and committed a brutal triple murder in 2004. Blind because he pulled out both of his eyes while behind bars, Thomas awaits a federal court's decision on whether he is sane enough to be executed.

This story is part of a collaboration with Texas Monthly magazine. Read the long-form narrative tale of the Andre Thomas case here.

Andre Thomas: The Mentally Ill, From Asylums to Jails

Andre Thomas in a photo taken during his teen years, left. Danny Thomas, Andre Thomas' father, top right. The State Insane Asylum in Austin, bottom right.
Andre Thomas in a photo taken during his teen years, left. Danny Thomas, Andre Thomas' father, top right. The State Insane Asylum in Austin, bottom right.

Texas has a long and unhappy history when it comes to mental health care. From the days of state-run asylums to underfunded local mental health services, those who have mental illness have faced daunting challenges finding care.