Prison Architect Wiki

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Gangs, in Prison Architect, are organised bands of prisoners who work collectively to achieve criminal goals. They are an optional in-game feature that can be enabled when:

  • A player creates a new prison from the start menu.
  • A player enables Gangs via Map Settings.

They became a feature in the game after the release of Alpha 34.

Gang members are visually distinctive due to their full-body tattoos which are symbolic of the gang they belong to. All members of a gang can be viewed via the 'Gangs' overlay under Intelligence.

Medium and maximum security inmates are prisoners most likely to arrive at your facility already affiliated with a gang.

Currently, there are three types of gangs a prisoner could potentially be a part of.


All gang members will be highlighted in their respective colour when viewed via the Gangs overlay under the intelligence tab. The colors of the gangs are merely ways to identify gang members, they provide nothing else to the game.

Hierarchy & Organisation[]

Gangs are small communities and run on a fixed hierarchy. This means that every gang will be led by a Gang Leader. Leaders are responsible for the recruitment of new gang soldiers. They are also able to promote already serving gang members to become Gang Lieutenants. A brief summary is detailed below:

Soldier Most of the members of a gang will be soldiers, the most subordinate and common rank. They are the lifeblood of any gang. The higher the number of gang soldiers, the stronger the gang itself. They will engage in gang plays and other miscellaneous duties. Soldiers are highlighted by 1 circle.
Lieutenant A small number of your gang members will be lieutenants, dependent on the number of soldiers there, for every 10 soldiers, 1 soldier will be promoted to lieutenant by the gang leader. They are superior to soldiers and are responsible for the organization of gang plays. As such, they will hold frequent meetings with all the available soldiers of that gang, but will never actively participate in one themselves. They are an imperative part of any gang, handpicked by the leader themselves. Lieutenants are highlighted by 2 circles.
Leader The head of the gang responsible for the recruitment of new soldiers and the promotion of current ones, if the gang is large enough. Gang Leaders always take a backseat and do not actively engage in normal gang operations. All gang members are fiercely loyal to their leader and will cause trouble if anything happens to them. Leaders are highlighted by 3 circles.
  • More specifically, for every 10 soldiers in a gang, there will be one lieutenant.
  • There will only ever be 1 leader per gang.
  • Gang Leaders are often legendary prisoners and because of such, are extremely dangerous.


Gang members are loyal to one another and will fight to defend one another if one is attacked, either by a guard, common prisoner or rival gang member.

As aforementioned, gang members are extremely loyal to their leader. If a gang leader is punished, all of their soldiers will become extremely disgruntled and may start trouble. The danger level of the prison will rise too.

Gang members will not participate in any kind of reform program or prison labor scheme except for parole.

Territories & Plays[]

The red warning sign has a black line rotating around its circumference. This is the capture scale. When it fills, the territory becomes captured.

Arguably the most important aspect of gang culture in game is the ability for gangs to make organized plays for territories around your facility and claim enforced ownership. Gangs will compete with one another for power, money, and control.

Gangs can claim enforced ownership over a yard, gymnasium or a common room through people power.

Plays are organized by lieutenants, who will hold an impromptu meeting with a large number of gang soldiers before deploying them to their desired room. They will then position the soldiers in their targeted room. The soldiers will hold their position until th There must be a specific number of gang members in a territory for it to be claimed: the higher the number, the faster the scale will fill.

Guards form a gang in their own right. Their presence in a room desired by gang members will contest the rate at which it is captured. Territories that are heavily policed by guards will not be captured. Furthermore, guard presence can be projected from a security room to neighboring/adjacent yards and/or common rooms.

After a territory is captured, it will fill with the respective color of the gang who captured it, as well as displaying their gang emblem.

If a gang is successful at capturing a territory, the territory will fill with the color of the respective gang. Rival gang members who enter the territory will be attacked on sight. Non-affiliated prisoners will have to pay to the gang members money in order to enter a captured yard or common room. This is a benefit for the gangs, especially since they do not earn wages by engaging in prison labor.

Most importantly of all, the player will not be able to make any architectural changes to a captured territory, (e.g. installing an object, placing a new flooring material).

Gangs won't just go for unclaimed territories. If they have a numerical advantage, they will attempt to contest a territory already captured by a rival gang.

An uncaptured territory is the ordinary color and has a symbol in the middle. This symbol is a circle with a cross through it, likely representing a zero.

If the gang has a captured territory, it will plan there the next step to capture another zone, and lieutenants will stand there until the territory is captured, the mission fails (another gang starts a fight and they get killed or knocked unconscious by guards) or the regime changed(i.e: from free time to eat).

Reclamation of Control[]

The player can reclaim a territory lost to gang control by evicting the gang from the room. This is a process riddled with danger. It is wise to station a sufficient number of guards in a room undergoing eviction. Gang members will attack any nearby guards on sight in an attempt to protect their territory.

After the capture meter depletes entirely, the territory will be reclaimed and the gang will lose control.

Escape Mode[]

It is possible that, if gangs are enabled, your controllable entity can be recruited by a gang leader, in which case the standard procedures apply. Your entity will receive the respective gang's tattoo insignia and become affiliated with the gang.

  • Fellow gang members will fight to defend and protect you.
  • If a nearby fellow gang member is attacked, your entity will be forced into a fighting state.
  • Rival gang members will attempt to attack you.
  • You cannot actively participate in gang plays.
  • Killing a fellow gang member will result in you being expelled from the gang.
  • You also can't be promoted to Lieutenant. (Note: Since Paradox Took over the game it appears that you can be promoted to a Lieutenant, but still can't actively part take in any plays directly.)

Gangs are not currently included in Escape Mode on console.


  • Cells belonging to gang members will also be marked as territories.
  • Guards can also claim territories, in their own right, which protects them from gang control.
  • As aforementioned, security rooms neighboring a yard or common room will project guard presence power into that room. For example, a security room with 10 guards inside will project 10 guards to all neighboring yards and common rooms.
  • Neighboring means there must be a door between the security room and the yard/common room.
  • Gang Leaders can only recruit/promote gang members during free time. If a gang leader is denied free time or is isolated in a different security category (usually SuperMax), then no new gang members can be recruited or current ones are promoted.
  • On the console version of Prison Architect, the available gangs have different names and insignia. There are Psychos in purple, Diablos in yellow, and Reapers in aqua green.
  • On PC the Red gang appears to have the same insignia as the Psychos, the Green gang appears to have the same insignia as the Diablos and the Blue gang have a bird in their insignia similar to to that of the Reapers' insignia.