Imported from Wikipedia on 2011-04-26

A carceral state is a state modeled on the idea of a prison.

In the carceral state, public space is transformed into defendable space, with the installation of walls, gates, fences, surveillance cameras and security checkpoints. Such installations are meant to provide control over urban space. In these spaces, gatherings of strangers to the area are discouraged, and barricades of various forms can prevent people from entering or passing through.

A Carceral state exists in a form of, or a pre-requisite to/evolution upon, a police state.

A carceral state is one that seeks to know everything about its inhabitants and visitors, but hide everything about itself. It demands transparency of everything except its own operations. The idea was discussed by Michel Foucault in his works regarding imprisonment especially psychiatric imprisonment.

Certain aspects of the carceral state can serve to increase the fear of residents. The psychological effect of living in an area guarded by cameras, gates, and guards reinforces the idea that the outside world is dangerous, creating a kind of fortress mentality or paranoia when traveling outside.