eligible for grounds privileges

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I have no clue what is "grounds privileges." What does it mean? Google search gives little hints that it means "going back to societies to lead a normal life." Not sure at all.

Thanks in advance

In four hospitals, the pseudopatients approached the staff member with a request which took the following form: “Pardon me, Mr. [or Dr. or Mrs.] X, could you tell me when I will be eligible for grounds privileges?” (or “ . . . when I will be presented at the staff meeting?” or “. . . when I am likely to be discharged?”).

—David L. Rosenhan

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    Senior Member
    American English
    I believe it means the patient is allowed to go outside the hospital buildings but remain on the hospital grounds – a walk in the grass, as it were.

    Cross-posted. :)
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