During registrar training I had the privilege of working in the interim secure unit at Friern Hospital in London. To gain further experience in the field of forensic psychiatry, I secured (if that is an appropriate term), a post as trainee psychiatrist at James Nash House, centre for forensic psychiatry, Adelaide, South Australia. This article compares the legal and health care frameworks in England and South Australia relevant to mentally abnormal offenders. The two units are described and differences in facilities, patient populations and working practices are discussed.
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