Though institutional care for people suffering from mental illness was phased out in the last century, mentally disordered offenders remain the exception to this rule. The numbers detained in medium secure care have increased and new initiatives in high secure care have created specialist facilities for individuals thought to be particularly dangerous to other people. This means that the nature of institutional life, and in particular the balance between continuing detention for its own sake and care and treatment designed to allow for discharge to a more normal life in the community, should continue to pre-occupy us. Secure Lives is a unique study of life in a high security hospital, based on original research material obtained in the mid 1990s. Compelling personal accounts from staff and patients, as well as case study material, illustrate the complex culture of a high security hospital. The book explores the complex relationship that exists between staff and patients, the social hierarchy, and life amongst potentially dangerous and mentally ill individuals. Though there are many texts on forensic psychiatry in practice, this book provides a first-hand account of life in an environment never seen by those outside its walls.