Prison Architect Wiki

PA Protective Custody.png

Protective Custody is an assigned class of Prisoner that is designed to segregate high profile Prisoners from the wider prison population. Prisoners in Protective Custody wear distinctive yellow colored jumpsuits. Such segregation is advisable for Prisoners whose lives are in danger.

Prisoners whose lives are endangered include, but are not limited to:

  • Snitches.
  • Ex-Law Enforcement.
  • Ex-Prison Guards.

Prisoners of the wider prison population will make attempts to murder these Prisoner types, hence why it is imperative that Prisoners with one or more of the above reputation(s) to be segregated immediately.

Note that, more often than not, their reputation will be hidden with three question marks - ??? - so it is advised for Confidential Informants to be recruited in order to reveal hidden reputations.

As part of the random event, your Prisoners may be found to be federal witnesses in an ongoing court case and thus will be marked for death by other prisoners whose interests are to silence them and prevent them from appearing in court. Therefore, these Prisoners should immediately be segregated from the wider prison population. It should also be noted that other Protective Custody Prisoners may also want to kill the federal witnesses, thereby it is important that the Protective Custody wing is heavily policed. More information concerning the federal witness court case Event can be accessed here.

Prisoners will never arrive into your prison as Protective Custody, however, certain mods can make this possible. Simply assigning a Prisoner to Protective Custody does not make them any more likely to be confronted by the more violent elements of your prison than before. In other words, Prisoners belonging to the general population will not seek to kill a prisoner simply because they are in Protective Custody: it is the reputation which they carry that determines whether or not their lives are in danger.


Intermingled Prison[]

If your Protective Custody Prisoners share facilities with the rest of the general population, it is highly advised to alter their regime timetables insofar as to make them as different as possible so that your Protective Custody Prisoners do not find themselves intermingled with other prisoners. For example, Protective Custody could sleep whilst Maximum Security prisoners eat, and vice versa. Below is many strategies you can use. But remember, protected custody are still prisoners so they can be suppressed, they also can cause trouble and escape so just make sure you also have security in the protected custody.

Other strategies include:

  • Assigning Armed Guards to areas where Protective Custody Prisoners as well as Prisoners of the general population make contact/cross paths. Armed Guards emit a suppression effect, which will, in turn, make Prisoners think twice before making an attack.
  • Ensure Armed Guards and/or Guards are equipped with Tasers to quickly subdue a Prisoner attacking a Protective Custody Prisoner. It is recommended to place the armed guards in the entrance to the protected custody area as the protected custody will also become suppressed if the armed guards are in the room and will increase the temperature of the prison.
  • Consider assigning lockdown time to the Protective Custody regime, especially if, during freetime, your Protective Custody Prisoners wander around your facility.
  • Have a staff-only buffer zone between the Protective Custody wing and the main prison, which can eliminate traffic of Prisoners in an area.
  • Build a large Dormitory for your Protective Custody Prisoners and ensure objects that satiate prisoner needs are housed, e.g. TVs, Pool Tables, Toilets, Shower Heads (as well as Drains) and Sofas.

Segregated Prison[]

This is the wisest course of action to take: having a Protective Custody wing entirely isolated from the main facility and its Prisoners. These wings should contain most rooms required to satisfy Prisoner needs, e.g. Yards, Common Rooms, Canteens, Parole Rooms.

Whilst a riot is transpiring, Prisoners will commence an onslaught on Protected Custody Prisoners and, thereby, their wing will be a target. Consider stationing Armed Guards to a single patrol spot or building Guard Towers to keep the wing protected from external attack.

The most basic form of action one can take to ensure the safety of Protective Custody Prisoners is to change their regime so that they do not find themselves intermingled with other prisoners, if not entirely segregated. For example, Protective Custody Prisoners could sleep whilst Maximum Security Prisoners eat.

Alternatively, you could also research permanent punishments in bureaucracy and place your protective custody inmates in permanent lockdown. This will irritate them, but it is helpful in keeping them segregated from both each other and the general prison population. However, you may need solitary privately for these inmates, as they may try to escape their cells and potentially attack or kill another entity.


If you have Events turned on for your prison, you may encounter a situation where a sickness is spreading amongst the Prisoners of your prison which can soon spiral out of control if not handled promptly. Placing Prisoners into Protective Custody for a time and creating a Protective Custody only area can help control the spread of the virus until your Prisoners receive treatment and thus are eventually cured.