Prison Architect Wiki
Prison Architect Wiki

Prisoners are individuals sent to correctional facilities to carry out a sentence as punishment for their crimes.

They are the core element of any prison, providing the money to keep your prison afloat and reacting to the structure and regime set out by the player.

Many prisoners are predisposed to cause trouble and be violent on account of their past and their detention at your prison. All prisoners will have basic human needs which will need to be satiated to ensure their stay at your prison runs smoothly. It is down to the player to ensure that a majority of these needs are met.

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Prisoners are policed by Guards, authoritative entities who have a duty to maintain security and order among your general population of prisoners.

Prisoners come in multiple shapes such as: pill, fat, chubby, built, small, or normal and all vary in sizes. The shape of a prisoner has no bearing on their abilities, traits or reputations. The size of a prisoner, however, may indicate whether they carry certain 'tough' reputations or not.

As of update 2, players can now run female prisons as opposed to just male-oriented ones.

It is also possible to specially transfer a specific prisoner to your penitentiary. These prisoners are often player-made prisoners or even members of the Introversion staff team.

Security Types

Minimum Security

Minimum Security (MinSec) prisoners have the shortest sentences of all security types. This is due to the fact that usually, their past crimes are considered 'non-severe'. As such, these prisoners are often only held for a few in-game days. Prisoners of this security type often cause the least trouble and tend to escape less often. Of course, any prisoner with a clear path to freedom will attempt an escape no matter their remaining prison time. MinSec prisoners will also make use of any contraband they get their hands on, whether it is thrown over the walls or stolen.

  • INTAKE: You receive $300 for every new MinSec inmate.

  • COLOUR: Light Grey

Medium Security

Medium Security (MedSec) prisoners will have low-medium length sentences. They will most likely have committed some serious offenses such as Grievous Bodily Harm or Kidnapping but most will have less severe crimes to their name. These prisoners may be held in your prison for a reasonable amount of time. MedSec prisoners may be less troublesome than higher security-classed prisoners, but are more easily disgruntled than their MinSec counterparts. They will frequently make use of contraband, more so than Minimum Security prisoners and are more likely to engage in riots as well as violent altercations.

  • INTAKE: You receive $500 for every new MedSec inmate.
  • COLOUR: Orange

Maximum Security

Maximum Security (MaxSec) prisoners tend to have unreasonably long sentences. In some cases, these sentences will last far beyond the average lifetime of a human being. Despite this, prisoners cannot die from 'old age'. It is, however, likely that most of your prisoners will not live to see their release date as these prisoners are some of the most violent of prisoners. They are easily disgruntled and will actively and willingly take part in violent altercations, riots and brutality. If given the opportunity, MaxSec prisoners will often kill those who they physically engage with. Prisoners in these categories will make active attempts to obtain/steal contraband and also escape from the confines of your prison - especially if their needs are unsatisfied.

  • INTAKE: You receive $1,000 for every new MaxSec inmate.
  • COLOUR: Red

Death Row

Death Row prisoners differ from all other prisoner types you will see in your prison. They will often carry a large number of past crimes, most of which are incredibly severe. As such, these prisoners are legally sentenced to death by electric chair. They will live out the rest of their lives within the confines of their cell and will never leave said cell unless they're attending Death Row Appeal sessions, visitation or are taking their final walk before their execution. Their cells must be marked 'DEATH ROW', else your death row intake pool will not fill. These inmates are considered highly dangerous as they have 'nothing left to lose' and as such may display aggressive and indiscriminately violent behaviour. An execution can only be approved if their percentage chance of receiving clemency is below the legal percentage. A premature execution could lead to receiving serious fines if the prisoner was later found to be innocent of the crimes accused of them.

  • INTAKE: You receive $2,500 for every new Death Row inmate.
  • NOTE: You will receive further compensatory profits after a successful and justified execution.
  • COLOUR: Black


  • Super-Maximum prisoners are extremely dangerous prisoners- much so, that intermingling them with other prisoners could spell trouble. It is wise to segregate prisoners considered 'legendary' into this security class. It is also advised to segregate prisoners who have extreme reputations and skills, e.g. 'extremely deadly'. Before 'The Sneezer Update', SuperMax prisoners could only be manually assigned, but can now be delivered to your prison as SuperMax.
    • NOTE: It is advised to police these areas with armed guards. Be cautious, as SuperMax prisoners may possess the skills to disarm an armed guard and steal their firearm which will obviously spell immediate trouble for your guards, other prisoners and overall facility.
    • INTAKE: You receive $2,000 for every new SuperMax inmate.
    • COLOUR: Dark Red

Protective Custody

Protective Custody prisoners are manually segregated from the general population by the player usually because their lives are endangered. This is the only security level that can only be obtained by manually assigning the prisoner to that level. Prisoners carrying specific undesirable reputations, e.g. snitch, Ex-Law Enforcement, will be targeted by prisoners from the general population and will often be attacked and killed on sight if the opportunity arises. It is therefore wise to assign them to a segregated wing to safeguard their lives. These inmates will be targeted in riots, so it is wise to increase the guard count in and around protective custody wings and areas.

  • NOTE: It is not whether a prisoner is assigned to protective custody which determines whether their life is endangered - it is the reputation they carry which determines whether they are in danger or not. For example, you can segregate prisoners suffering from a virus in this category temporarily and they will not be marked for death by other prisoners.
  • COLOUR: Yellow

Criminally Insane

Criminally Insane prisoners are prisoners that have either turned insane in your prison or are intaken from Intake. This is one of the only security levels that cannot be assigned manually by the player. These prisoners require a new cell type, called the padded cells, which are fitted with white pads on the walls, and Psychiatric Consultation programs to help calm the prisoner by taking care of their Safety, Comfort, Privacy and Freedom needs, since Criminally Insane prisoners feel a lot of suppression. Prisoners in this category have unique reputations (Outbreaks, Depressed, Sickness, Weak, etc.), representing mental illnesses and disorders, such as depression, ADHD (although this is a type of neurodiversity, not a mental illness or disorder), claustrophobia (although this is a fear, not a mental illness), insomnia, etc. and a bar representing their mental state, which can exhibit unnatural behaviour (e.g. punching the air, shaking for a few seconds, unintended destruction and attacking of prisoners or staff). Calm (White on the mental state bar) means the prisoner will not or rarely exhibit unnatural behaviour, and will act very normally. Agitated (Yellow on the mental state bar )means the prisoner is starting to go unstable, and will start to exhibit mild unnatural behaviour. Unstable (Orange on the mental state bar) means the prisoner is losing their mind and will exhibit high amounts of unnatural behaviour, and will highly get themselves in trouble. Triggered (Red on the mental state bar) means the prisoner is having a mental outbreak and is causing misconduct, and will only be triggered when the mental state bar completes Unstable. Criminally Insane prisoners that have been handcuffed for very long periods of time will quickly become triggered. Psychopathic Criminally Insane inmates are a lot more unpredictable than Criminally Insane prisoners, and when they are sent to solitary, an Orderly will be tasked with fitting a straitjacket onto the inmate. It is advised that these prisoners have a separate wing of the prison due to their unpredictability, as intermingling them with the general population can mean trouble for the prison.

  • NOTE: Once a prisoner has become Criminally Insane, they cannot be turned back to sane.
  • INTAKE: You receive $3,000 for every new Criminally Insane inmate.
  • COLOUR: White

Legendary Prisoner!

Legendary Prisoners are Maximum Security prisoners that will always have the --LEGENDARY-- reputation. It is known that their reputation can be hidden as Unknown, So it is highly advised that you assign the last prisoner off the bus, if you had Legendary Prisoner ordered on intake, as SuperMax, to prevent causing trouble. If Gangs are enabled, the prisoner will highly be a Gang Lieutenant or a Gang Leader, so segregating them from the general population is HEAVILY recommended, if not mandatory.

  • NOTE: These prisoners are as rare as Death Row prisoners.
  • INTAKE: You receive $15,000 for every new Legendary Prisoner.
  • COLOUR: Red

Prisoner Profile

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Every prisoner has a unique profile, or 'rap-sheet' that holds several forms of key information. These profiles can be accessed by clicking on any prisoner in-game. This information is categorised into four sub-sections: biography, character, experience and grading.

These are briefly explained below.

Profile Tab Description
Biography The biography tab includes general information about the prisoner. This includes: name, age, brief biography, crimes & convictions, sentencing & time served, inmate number, relatives and their ages and risk category.

This tab also includes the ability to: re-assign the prisoner to a new security category, order a search of the prisoner, his cell or associated cell block, individually punish the prisoner through cell lockdown and solitary confinement or escort them to the infirmary. These punishments can be made permanent if researched by a Lawyer and also can be cancelled at the discretion of the player.

Character The character tab will list any and all reputations possessed by the prisoner. There is a chance that a prisoner's reputation may be hidden with "???". It will therefore not be revealed in the character tab. All possible reputations are detailed below.
Experience The experience tab includes information such as: how many days they've been incarcerated in your prison and what recent misconduct they've been found guilty of.

Below are four small bars - activity, mood, condition and reform program. These generally details: what activities your prisoner usually engages in, what moods they usually tend to be in the most, what conditions they tend to experience and also the current reform program they're engaged in. This is accompanied by a success chance meter.

Grading The grading tab is the final sheet which details how well you've looked after your prisoner. This is determined by the percentage chance that the prisoner, once released from your prison, will re-offend and commit another crime. The general aim is to reform your prisoners and change them so that they do not commit further crimes once released. There are four key contributors to the re-offending chance of a prisoner which are: punishment, reform, security and health.


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Prisoners will obviously not always behave like perfect people in your prison - some will have a tendency to cause trouble, otherwise known as 'misconduct'. There are several forms of misconduct which include but are not limited to: fighting, escaping, destroying, rioting, etc. The possession of contraband can also be considered misconduct.

Punishments can be put in place via the prison policy tab, unlocked by the Warden. These punishments will act as deterrents for further misconduct. The policy tab gives the player several abilities:

  • The ability to alter the duration of a punishment for a specific crime.
  • The ability to dictate where the punishment time is spent, either in a cell (lockdown) or solitary confinement.
  • The ability to decide whether the crime committed warrants a prisoner transfer to maximum security.
  • The ability to decide whether the crime committed warrants further investigation by means of searching the prisoner themselves or their cell.
Destruction Prisoner damages object(s) in prison, e.g. bed, table, door.
Escape Attempt Prisoner attempts to escape the facility either via digging an escape tunnel or making a beeline for an insecure area.
Attacked Prisoner Prisoner injures another inmate.
Attacked Staff Prisoner injures a non-prisoner.
Serious Injury Prisoner causes another entity to lose more than half of their toughness points.
Intoxication Prisoner drinks booze and acquires the drunk status effect.

Prisoner takes drugs and acquires the high status effect.

Murder Prisoner kills another entity.
Found Weapons Prisoner discovered to be in the possession of weaponry, e.g. shotgun, knife, club.
Found Tools Prisoner discovered to be in the possession of a tool, e.g. screwdriver, wooden pickaxe.
Found Drugs Prisoner discovered to be in the possession of narcotic drugs, e.g. cigs, drugs.
Found Luxuries Prisoner found to be in the possession of luxury items, e.g. cellphone, lighter.


As of Alpha 25, prisoner reputations have been added into the game. Reputations can be physical, social or mental characteristics of your prisoners which affect how they react or behave under certain circumstances. These are visible in your intelligence report or by viewing a prisoner's rap sheet, under 'character'. Some reputations may be hidden with "???" so it is wise to recruit Confidential Informants who possess the ability to reveal these hidden reputations.

Strong This prisoner hits harder with each punch during a fight.
Tough This prisoner can withstand a lot more punishment in a fight. They can also sometimes withstand being hit by a Taser.
Volatile This prisoner is liable to kick off without warning and for no reason.
Stoical This prisoner will not become suppressed when locked in Solitary. They really don't care.
Snitch This prisoner is a known informant, and as such his life may be in danger. Don't leave him alone with other prisoners for too long.
Deadly This prisoner is a master in lethal combat moves, and can sometimes kill with a single hit.
Federal Witness This prisoner is a witness in an important legal case, and as such has been targeted for death by a gang or crime boss.
Ex Law Enforcement This prisoner was once a Police Officer, or some other Law Enforcement profession. Their life may be in danger.
Fearless This prisoner is not intimidated by the sight of Armed Guards, and is less likely to surrender during a fight.
Quick This prisoner is an unusually fast runner.
Cop Killer Guilty of murdering a Police Officer. Your prison guards may be unable to control themselves when subduing him.
Instigator This prisoner sows seeds of discontent in all those nearby. When he causes trouble, nearby prisoners will feel compelled to do the same.
Skilled Fighter This prisoner is skilled in defensive combat moves. They can disarm their opponent, or even take their weapon in a fight.
Ex Prison Guard This prisoner was once a Police Officer, or some other Law Enforcement profession. Their life may be in danger.
-LEGENDARY-This prisoner is a legend of the criminal underworld, and has numerous skills and abilities that make them very dangerous.
Gang Member This prisoner belongs to a gang. They will defend their fellow gang members and will harbour hatred towards rival gangs.

NOTE: Prisoners have the ability to have an extreme version of some of the above reputations. The extremity will give them a boost in whatever reputation they already possess.

  • Extremely Strong

  • Extremely Tough

  • Extremely Deadly

  • Extremely Volatile

  • Extremely Quick

Prisoners known as 'Legendary Prisoners' will possess several of these reputations and are more likely to possess these reputations in their extreme form. As aforementioned, it is wise to segregate these prisoners in a SuperMax wing.

Abilities & Tendencies

  • Prisoners are capable of attacking any entity whether it be a fellow inmate, a guard, a general staff member/administrator or even an external staff member and/or visitor.
  • Prisoners do not want to be locked up. If an opportunity arises, a prisoner will attempt an escape either via tunneling, making a beeline for an insecure area or clambering over a prison wall.
  • Prisoners may co-operate with one another when digging escape tunnels underneath toilets.
  • Prisoners will attempt to make their stay as smooth as possible by exploring the rooms of your prison and utilising prison property to satiate their physiological and psychological needs.
  • All Prisoners will have sentences they must serve out at your facility. When their sentence time is depleted they will be 'RELEASED' and free to exit the prison. Longer sentences may be completely depleted early by parole programs.
  • Prisoners may have reputations.
  • Prisoners may have special traits.
  • Prisoners are capable of destroying prison property (objects around your prison).
  • Prisoners will always take opportunities to steal contraband when they can.
  • Prisoners will trade, sell and buy contraband among their populations.
  • Prisoners are capable of setting your prison on fire if they have a lighter.
  • If available, prisoners (who aren't gang members) will participate in reform programs.
  • Prisoners may arrive at your prison with active addictions to narcotics, i.e. alcohol or drugs.
  • Prisoners who are injured will walk themselves to a nearby infirmary if able.
  • Prisoners can join gangs and progress through gang hierarchy.
  • Prisoners can instigate and spark riots.
  • Prisoners are unable to swim, nor are they able to tunnel underwater (lakes, rivers, etc.). Water tiles are inaccessible both above and under ground.
  • Few prisoners possess the ability to hijack vehicles to use during an escape attempt.

Female Prisoners

A female prisoner.

As aforementioned, update 2 brought the ability to run a female-only prison with female prisoners.

Female inmates are slightly less tough and strong compared to their male counterparts. As such, the likelihood of them being able to subdue a male guard is slightly lower. Furthermore, female prisoners belonging to the minimum security class may be accompanied with a baby so long as they aren't considered a threat to the child. As such, female prisoners of this type will often be incarcerated in your prison for less than a year.

Babies will have their own small set of needs too, and will spend a majority of the time living in family cells or nurseries.