In 1996, the Royal College of Psychiatrists recommended that all psychiatric facilities in the UK develop policies concerning sexuality and sexual expression for persons contained in those facilities. This paper analyses the prevalence and content of such policies in English forensic psychiatric facilities. While the College recommends an individualised approach to sexual and emotional relationships, most hospitals in fact either prohibit or actively discourage such expression as a matter of policy. The paper considers the advantages and disadvantages of that approach. The paper also considers the legal issues surrounding these policies, and in particular the legal authority for governing the sexual and emotional expression of hospital residents and the relevant human rights implications
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