Carceral urbanism: The Secret City

Starke community is staff housing for Florida’s state run prison facilities. 134 homes, 87 mobile homes and 52 apartments ensure that key employees are around during their off hours in case of emergency.

Just outside of the wires is a community within a community. It looks like your normal neighbourhood, but you won’t find the place on any map. The county property appraiser doesn’t even have a record of it. In this secret community, some streets have names, others do not.


The rent starts at $50 a month. The lawns are personally cut by the prisoners.

There is no sign saying keep out. But you’re not allowed to take pictures, or ask too many questions. There’s no way to know exactly who lives in each house or how long they have lived there. There is no paper trail either because these homes don’t exist in public records.


Via archinect First Coast News.