Prison Architect Wiki

Lockdown is an emergency command that, when issued, forced all the doors in a facility to immediately lock shut.

This command works well in situations where mass escapes or riots are taking place. Doors that are 'locked down' cannot be opened by any prisoner or staff member.

Guards of all types can only open a locked-down door if the player themselves directs them to.

Prisoner Lockdown[]

The player may also individually assign a prisoner to lockdown - usually as a punishment for misconduct. In this case, the prisoner will be forced to remain within the confines of their cell/dormitory for an extended amount of time.

PA PunishTab.jpg

You can manually place a prisoner in lockdown for the following lengths of time:

  • 6 hours - quarter day.
  • 12 hours - half day.
  • 24 hours - full day.

This can be especially useful during the Virus Outbreak random event. Prisoner's cells can be used as a place of quarantine which can prevent the spread of infection.

Prisoners left in lockdown for too long will begin to get irritated and will most likely cause trouble when they are let out of their cells.

Permanent Punishments, unlocked by the Lawyer, are also options for your prisoners. As the name suggests, a prisoner in permanent lockdown will never be allowed to leave their cell unless the permanent punishment is alleviated.

An example of locked down cells.

It is wise to reserve these punishments for your most troublesome of prisoners, e.g. legendary prisoners. It would also be wise to install need-satisfying objects in the cells of permanently locked down prisoners, so their needs can also be satisfied.


  • It is wise to install 'checkpoints' or sets of locked-open doors in various places throughout your prison. This way, in the event of a riot, rioting prisoners can be split into more manageable chunks for your security staff. It also makes it harder for prisoners to escape.
  • If you activate a Bangup first then activate your lockdown, you will have far fewer prisoners to worry about in the event of a riot or escape attempt. This can be advantageous if Freefire is activated.