Prison Architect Wiki

Contraband are the objects that prisoners smuggle into prison or obtain inside the prison. Each prisoner can only carry one thing at a time, he will always carry it with him but may decide to hide it, usually in the prisoner's cell in a bed, toilet, or other objects in his/her cell.

There are 4 types of contraband but all items can be traded for money.

  1. Weapons - Used to attack prisoners and staff. Silent kill weapons attract less attention than noisier weapons used in fights.
  2. Tools - Used to escape or cause destruction.
  3. Narcotics - Booze, cigs, and drugs are all considered narcotics.
  4. Luxuries - Most common luxuries are cell-phones.

There are two traits of contraband, making it detectable.

  1. Metal - Detectable by Metal Detector.
  2. Smelly - Detectable by Dog Handler.

When a prisoner with metal contraband goes through a Metal Detector, it will very likely set off an alarm and a guard will search that prisoner automatically. There is also a small chance of a false alarm.

Guard Dogs will automatically check nearby prisoners for smelly contraband, but are also susceptible to false alarms of both kinds.

Alternatively, you can search any prisoner for contraband by left-clicking and then selecting "Search", or you could also trigger a shakedown and search the entire prison. If contraband is found, the prisoner will be escorted to a solitary cell or to his cell for lockdown depending on your punishment policy. You can change your punishment policy in the Policy tab in the Reports menu. The supply and demand of contraband can be seen through the intelligence tab, if the supply is high, a shakedown is recommended.

Contraband can also be traded with other prisoners for money. Prisoners will carry contraband that they don't particularly want to sell. The price of contraband depends on the supply and demand of the contraband. The approximate prices of contraband can be seen in the dangers part of the Intelligence tab.

Almost all contraband can be smuggled in.

Contraband arrives to the prison in numerous ways:

1. Prisoners can arrive with contraband when they first come to your prison. They will be searched on entry in the reception area.

2. Contraband can be smuggled in by family in visitation. Either have dog patrols and metal detectors around and in your visitation room or have secure visitor booths, or use Checkpoints to search prisoners when going in and coming out.

3. When prisoners are visiting their families and making phone calls to them (via a phone booth), they can arrange for delivery of contraband to be thrown over an outside wall. Prisoners retrieve their contraband from the delivery or ground during free time or work time (on their regime) if there is no guard nearby. In order to stop this, make all outside areas (except the yard) staff-only. Another way is to make all outside areas (that are accessible by prisoners) surrounded by other buildings (rooms), cutting off access the prison's perimeter. There is a limit to how far contraband can be thrown (10m), so also make sure that any outside areas are spaced sufficiently far from the outer perimeter of the prison.

4. Crate delivery. It is beneficial to use a scanner, or metal detector and dogs. Scanners catch all detectable contraband.

5. Weapons and Tools can be taken from certain rooms. Use Metal Detectors in the appropriate rooms, dogs in others.

6.Prisoners who are Janitorial Staff will steal from the rooms they're cleaning. Rooms that your prisoners don't need to be in should be made Staff Only.

As of Alpha 23 prisoners may consume their contraband (drugs or alcohol) and become intoxicated. Guards (especially dogs) may detect this behavior.

List of Contraband:

Picture Contraband name Type/Trait Location
Contraband Axe.png
Axe (Weapons, Tools, Metal) Taken from Forestry, Farming Field, Vegetable Allotment or Fruit Orchard. To chop bones or fences.
Contraband Baton.png
Baton (Weapons) Taken from dead/unconscious guards, Security, or Armoury.
Contraband Booze.png
Booze (Narcotics, Luxuries) Taken from Office and Visitation.
Contraband Booze Bag.png
Booze Bag (Narcotics, Smelly) Brewed in Cell using Drink and Kicker.
Contraband Booze Ingredient.png
Booze Ingredient (Narcotics, Produced Narcotics) Taken from Kitchen, Restaurant, Bakery, Fruit Orchard or Pantry.
Contraband Cellphone.png
Cellphone (Luxuries) Taken from Office, Visitation and Staff Room.
Contraband Cigs.png
Cigs (pack of cigarettes) (Narcotics, Luxuries, Smelly) Taken from Office, Staff Room, Visitation, or Security.
Contraband Club.png
Club (Weapons, Improvised) Taken from Cleaning Cupboard and Gymnasium.
Contraband Drill.png
Drill (Weapons, Tools, Metal) Taken from Workshop or Storage.
Contraband Drink.png
Drink (Luxuries) Taken from Drink Machines.
Contraband Drugs.png
Drugs (Narcotics, Smelly) Taken from Visitation. Can be smuggled into the prison.
Contraband Fork.png
Fork (Weapons, Tools, Metal) Taken from Kitchen, Staff Room, Restaurant or Bakery.
Contraband Fountain Pen.png
Fountain Pen (Weapons, Metal) Taken from Office, Library or Parole.
Contraband Gold Pocket Watch.png
Gold Pocket Watch (Luxuries, Metal) Taken from Office.
Contraband Gun.png
Gun (Revolver) (Weapons, Metal, Ranged Weapon) Taken from Armoury.
Contraband Hammer.png
Hammer (Weapons, Tools, Metal) Taken from Workshop or Storage.
Contraband Hand Fork.png
Hand Fork (Weapons, Tools, Metal) Taken from Farming Field, Vegetable Allotment, Fruit Orchard and Flower Garden.
Contraband Jail Keys.png
Jail Keys (Metal) Taken from dead/unconscious Guards, Armed Guards, Riot Guards and the Security room. Used to unlock all doors. Remote Doors cannot be opened with any keys.
Contraband Kicker.png
Kicker (Narcotics, Smelly) Taken from Bins when brewing booze.
Contraband Knife.png
Knife (Weapons, Tools, Metal) Taken from Kitchen, Morgue, Staff Room, Restaurant or Bakery.
Contraband Lighter.png
Lighter (Luxuries) Taken from Office, Security, Visitation, or Staff Room. Can be used to light a fire in your prison.
Contraband Medicine.png
Medicine (Narcotics, Smelly) Taken from Infirmary and Gymnasium.
Contraband Needle.png
Needle (Narcotics) Taken from Infirmary or dead/unconscious Doctors.
Contraband Poison.png
Poison (Narcotics, Smelly) Taken from Infirmary or Cleaning Cupboard.
Contraband Drugs.png
Produced Drugs (Narcotics, Produced Narcotics, Smelly) Produced by prisoners in Farming Field.
Contraband Rifle.png
Rifle (Weapons, Metal, Ranged Weapon) Taken from Armoury or dead/unconscious snipers.
Contraband Rolling Pin.png
Rolling Pin (Weapons, Tools) Taken from Bakery.
Contraband Rope.png
Rope (Tools, Improvised) Taken from Gymnasium and Laundry.
Contraband Saw.png
Saw (Tools, Metal) Taken from Workshop, Storage, Forestry, Farming Field, Vegetable Allotment and Fruit Orchard.
Contraband Scissors.png
Scissors (Weapons, Tools, Metal) Taken from Infirmary, Morgue, Library, Restaurant or Bakery.
Contraband Screwdriver.png
Screwdriver (Weapons, Tools, Metal) Taken from Workshop or Storage.
Contraband Shank.png
Shank (Weapons, Tools, Metal, Improvised) Made by prisoners in Workshop or can be purchased by Dealer in Escape Mode.
Contraband Shears.png
Shears (Weapons, Metal) Taken from Farming Field, Vegetable Allotment, Fruit Orchard and Flower Garden.
Contraband Shotgun.png
Shotgun (Weapons, Metal, Ranged Weapon) Taken from Armoury or dead/unconscious Armed Guards.
Contraband Spade.png
Spade (Tools, Metal) Taken from Forestry, Farming Field, Vegetable Allotment, Fruit Orchard and Flower Garden. Used to dig Escape Tunnels.
Contraband Spoon.png
Spoon (Tools, Metal) Taken from Kitchen, Restaurant or Bakery. Used to dig Escape Tunnels.
Contraband Jail Keys.png
Staff Key (Metal) Taken from dead/unconscious staff members. Used to unlock/lock staff-only doors, usually used during riots and escapes.
Contraband Taser.png
Taser (Weapons, Ranged Weapon) Taken from Armoury or dead/unconscious Armed Guards or guards with Tazer Certification. Only available after Taser Rollout is researched in Bureaucracy.
Contraband Trowel.png
Trowel (Weapons, Tools, Metal) Taken from Farming Field, Vegetable Allotment, Fruit Orchard and Flower Garden.
Contraband Whisk.png
Whisk (Tools, Metal) Taken from Bakery.
Contraband Wooden Pickaxe.png
Wooden Pickaxe (Tools, Improvised) Made in a Workshop.

Contraband type by room[]

Intelligence view shows which rooms are sources of contraband. A prison's layout should consider this to detect and contain contraband, by securing their exits with metal detectors and/or dog handlers.

Room Type/Trait
Visitation Smelly
Psychologist's Office Smelly & Metal
Cleaning Cupboard Smelly
Infirmary Smelly & Metal
Library Metal
Kitchen Metal
Workshop Metal
Keep these staff-only:
Office (others) Smelly & Metal
Forestry Metal
Staff Room Smelly & Metal
Armoury Metal
Security Smelly & Metal
Storage Metal
Morgue Metal
Deliveries Any (Smuggled)

Other Contraband[]

The following pieces of contraband can only be taken by unconscious or dead staff members.

Picture Contraband name Type/Trait Location
Contraband Assault Rifle.png
Assault Rifle (Weapons, Ranged Weapon, Metal) Taken from dead/unconscious National Guard or Elite Ops members.
Contraband Cleaning Brush.png
Cleaning Brush (none) None
Contraband Clipboard.png
Clipboard (none) Taken from dead/unconscious Administrative Staff.
Contraband Dog Leash.png
Dog Leash (none) Taken from dead/unconscious Dog Handlers.
Contraband Guard Outfit.png
Guard Uniform (Tools) Taken from dead/unconscious Guards, and Armed Guards.
Contraband Hose.png
Hose (none) Taken from dead/unconscious Firemen.
48px-Contraband mop.png
Mop (none) None
Contraband Rake.png
Rake (none) None
Contraband Spatula.png
Spatula (none) None
Contraband Piano Wire.png
Piano Wire (none) None
Contraband Wooden Spoon.png
Wooden Spoon (none) None