The most dangerous members of our society reside in locked institutions, forcibly removed from public life and mostly forgotten by that society, except for the courageous, or perhaps foolhardy, few who work in these institutions. A visitor to a secure forensic hospital or prison, once through the many security checks, thick walls and locked doors, may be pleasantly surprised by the apparent calm and orderliness within, the prison inmates quiet in their cells or the hospital patients settled on the wards, and wonder where the danger and anxiety has gone. This chapter will attempt to open a window into these secure forensic settings to observe and explore the experiences of those who live and work within, and to locate their anxieties, that have not disappeared, but have been re-distributed among the different parts of the institution to silently and insidiously corrode and distort its functioning. In describing these forensic settings, I will focus on the secure forensic hospital, but will finish by touching on some of the particular problems encountered in the environment of the prison.
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