Prison Architect Wiki

A dormitory is a multi-occupant cell. Unlike a Holding Cell which is meant to temporarily house prisoners, a dormitory is designed to hold them indefinitely (like a normal cell).

The capacity of a dormitory is 1 prisoner per 4 squares, with 1 exception. A 2x3 dormitory (the smallest possible size) can be equipped with a bunk bed to host 2 prisoners on a space of 6 squares.

Dormitories are a great way to cheaply increase the capacity of your prison, allowing large numbers of prisoners to be confined to a relatively small space. It is also more cost effective to add televisions (large and regular), weight benches, or other optional items to the cell as one item can be shared between several prisoners.

The downside of dormitories is that the cramped conditions can anger prisoners if their need for privacy isn't satisfied. The high prisoner density also makes them more dangerous if and when fights do break out. It should go without saying that vulnerable prisoners such as snitches or ex-law enforcement should never be kept in dormitories, unless said dormitory is specifically for Protective Custody inmates.

Room Quality & Grading[]

Like cells, dormitories are graded based on quality. Quality factors for a dormitory take into account the number of prisoners in the cell- multiple items are needed to increase the quality of a large dormitory and it does increase privacy needs like holding cells. Cells are graded on a scale from 1-10.

New prisoners are entitled to an "Average" cell. Guards will move prisoners to match everyone to the right cell. How strict this is handled can be adjusted in the Policy report, and which is where it also can be enabled and disabled. A rooms grade can be viewed in the menu Logistics -> Room Quality. The cells grade will increase if the following criterias are met:

Tips, Tricks, and Hints[]

  • You should not have a whole prison with dormitories, as the privacy need can only be lowered by the prisoners having individual cells. Don't use these as substitutes, because no matter the size of the dormitory, the privacy need is triggered.
  • Put Metal Detectors and Dog Handlers around your dormitory due to the fact that prisoners can help each other more easily with escape attempts. Doing this will lower the chance of people escaping.
  • Having a dormitory over 12 squares for each prisoner will not have their privacy increase, making you have to put it at least to 12 squares to let it not rise and make them angry.
  • Limiting dormitories to minimum security prisoners helps to reduce violence and coordinated escapes.
  • Dormitories are not available on PS edition.