Contributors—mental health system and hospital administrators, psychiatrists, nurses, and a hospital chaplain—paint a grim picture of life inside the walls of the institution before the SHSA's emergence. Patients were locked in their rooms through the night with a chamber pot to be emptied the following morning in a ritual graphically termed "slopping out." Methods of physical control, including seclusion, mechanical restraints, and excessive medication, were commonly used. Staff were members of the influential and security-minded Prison Officers' Association. Military-style uniforms highlighted by peaked caps reinforced an atmosphere of authority and control to the exclusion of concepts such as individualized treatment planning and rehabilitative therapy.