Prison Architect Wiki

Parole is a unique reform program which allows the possibility for prisoners, often those with softer offenses, to be released earlier than their intended detention time.

In order to be arranged, you must first construct the parole room according to its requirements, then activate the program via the programs tab in reports.


Inmates are granted a parole hearing when they serve half (50%) of their full sentence. If they fail the first hearing, they are granted a second hearing after serving three-quarters (75%) of their sentence.

During a hearing, a prisoner will be assessed by the following officials:

These officials both arrive at your facility on foot and will leave after the hearing concludes.

The parole officer is the official who will advocate the interests of the state and the general public, over the interests and personal needs of the inmate. The parole lawyer does the opposite, and will consider the needs and interests of the individual inmate over the general public.

At the end of the hearing, it is the parole officer who has the final say on whether the prisoner qualifies for early release or not. This decision is solely based on the prisoner's estimated re-offending chance. This can be viewed via the grading section on any prisoner's rap sheet. This percentage must be lower than the parole cutoff which is outlined by the player in the policy tab. For example, if a player sets the parole cutoff at 15%, only inmates who have a re-offending chance 15 or lower will be granted parole.

The player can freely increase or decrease the parole cutoff. However, making a parole board too lenient will result in penalties and fines if the inmates are prematurely released and still go on to re-offend.

Death Row Appeals[]

The parole room is not only used for parole hearings. If your facility accommodates death row inmates, each inmate will be given a chance to appeal for clemency. Appeal Hearings work in a similar way to normal parole hearings, but instead are hosted by:

Each death row inmate, instead of having re-offending chances, have chances of clemency. This is, in other words, the chance that they will be saved from legal execution. Naturally, a death row inmate would want this chance to be very high - but this chance is reduced by half every single time they fail an appeal, or is increased if they pass.

Unlike parole cutoffs, the player cannot manipulate the appeals cutoff. Instead, they must go by the legal, national execution liability standard which is set at a default 5%. Prisoners must not be executed if their percentage is higher than 5%. This standard can be increased to 10% by a Lawyer.

Players can, however, dictate how many appeals a death row inmate gets. It is wise to allow for an inmate to receive as many appeals as possible. The more appeals the player allows for a prisoner, the more certain they can be of his/her guilt in which case, they can confidently execute said prisoner without fear of penalty.

Bonuses & Penalties[]

If an inmate receives an early release and does not re-offend, the player receives a $3,000 bonus after the inmate leaves the map. If failure conditions are enabled and 10 paroled prisoners re-offend, you will be issued a warning by the CEO. After this warning, if 5 more prisoners re-offend within the next 48 hours, the player will be fired.

If a death row inmate is executed and is later found to have been innocent of the crime or crimes they were previously convicted of, you will be heavily fined. If failure conditions are enabled, 3 innocent executed inmates will result in termination.

Tips and tricks[]

  • Prisoners who are denied a chance to be released from detention early become angry. Assign extra security around your parole rooms and CCTV-camera, as it is usually the parole officials who find themselves on the receiving end of a disgruntled inmate.
  • If a parole room is marked as staff only or designated as a room which does not match a prisoner's security rating, e.g. maximum security, they will be escorted to-and-from said room by a guard.
  • If a death row inmate attains a successful appeal, they may be pardoned by either: being downgraded to maximum security or being immediately released.