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.

 Todd Wiseman / Matt Rainwaters

Andre Thomas: Questions of Competence, Justice

Andre Thomas' case raises critical questions about how the justice system deals with mentally ill defendants who commit heinous crimes and whether they should be exempt from the death penalty.

Full Story 

Andre Thomas: Gaps in the Mental Health Code

Hospitals don't have authority to detain people in mental crisis who voluntarily enter their facilities. Advocates for reform say that is one of many holes in the state’s nearly 30-year-old mental health code.

Full Story 
 Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Andre Thomas: Services Scarce for Troubled Youth

During his troubled adolescence, lawyers for death row inmate Andre Thomas say he never received the mental health care he needed. In Texas, there are few mechanisms to diagnose and treat youths who suffer from mental illness.

Full Story 
 Graphic by Todd Wiseman / Matt Rainwaters / Austin Postcards

Andre Thomas: The Mentally Ill, From Asylums to Jails

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.

Full Story