Prison Architect Wiki

Checkpoint allows guard working on it to perform pat-down searches on prisoners and visitors who pass through it (Although searching visitors has no effect as contraband spawns from them inside Visitation). They may cause congestion and significantly slow down the speed at which prisoners travel.

By default, checkpoint will enforce all ten tiles it occupy to have one-way movement for prisoners. However, it is possible to override it allowing it to have movement both ways by deployment. It is important to note that only the directions channeling into the guard are enforced. If a custom prison set up two checkpoints for two-way movement, it is possible to snake through both of them taking the opposed direction during escape mode and free of body search.

Prisoners don't like being searched, so similarly to the metal detectors, they will avoid going through them by picking another way around (if possible), especially if they carry contraband.

The efficiency of pat-down searches depends on the tiredness of the guard performing them so having them well-rested is important.