Prison Architect Wiki

The Regime says what will be expected of the prisoners per hour. You need a Warden to prepare the report.


There are 7 different types of Regime slots. However, it is possible to successfully run a prison without using all of them.


Prisoners will be locked-up in their cells, which they are not allowed to leave their cells. If they are locked up between 10pm to 8am they may choose to sleep, otherwise they will wander in the cell and use whatever happens to be available to meet other needs (toilet, shower, entertainment, etc.). If none of this applies the inmates will limit themselves to standing around in their cell, supposedly thinking about their mistakes, their families, the lives they'll have after prison and the blueprint of the prison's utility room they somehow got their hands on to, but keep in mind that prisoners have been observed being idle even if they have needs and the items to satisfy them in their cell.


Prisoners will be locked up in their cells and are required to sleep. Some prisoners, however, might refuse sleep, and sleep instead during the Free Time. If a Prisoner has smuggled a digging tool into their cell and has a high enough Freedom need, he/she will start digging a tunnel from his toilet when he's supposed to sleep. Sleep will only function correctly from 10pm to 8am. (You can schedule other things during those hours which would prevent sleep, but trying to get sleep to function outside of those hours will not work)

As of Update 7, Prisoners are now able to sleep during the daytime, allowing nocturnal regime schedules.


Prisoners will start eating only during this time. Prisoners will go to their cell block's assigned Canteen and get a plate of horrible slop (or decent food, depending on your prison's nutritional policy) from the Serving Table. Cooks will start preparing the food 4 hours earlier. You need to be careful when changing the time of the Eat Regime, because if you were to set Eat right before the current time, your Cooks wouldn't have enough time to prepare the food, which may under some circumstances lead to a Riot if Prisoners are desperate for food. (Also note that if you place free time after eat on the schedule then prisoners who arrived late to eat will finish eating during free time instead of going hungry; but they will not begin the eating process in free time, it has to start during eat time)


Prisoners will go to the Shower and satisfy their hygiene need. Prisoners only change into clean clothes (satisfying the Clothing need) after a Shower (needs confirmation). If you have toilets in your shower area, Prisoners will use them if needed during shower time. While it's not strictly required, most players choose to implement an hour of shower to ensure that everybody is squeaky clean and in new clothes.

As of Alpha 11, if a prisoner showers during Free Time, he will also change into clean clothes. Thus it is possible to have no shower time in your regime, replacing it with free time. However, the forced shower time can help control prisoner flow instead of letting them choose where they want to be at that hour.


Prisoners will go to the Yard and start exercising and/or call their loved ones should a telephone be available. Note that prisoners will only exercise/call their family should they need to.

Prisoners will go to the yard to exercise or use objects if they need to during Free Time as well. However, during Yard time, every prisoner will go to the yard, even if they would be better off going to the shower or the bathroom. However you can add outdoor showers and toilets marked as part of the yard so prisoners can use them on yard time (for hygiene needs) along with weight benches and seating areas. (to fill exercise and comfort needs)


During Free Time, prisoners will do all activities except for (begin) eating, working a job or going to a program (classes, drug treatment, etc.). (Note they will finish eating if eat was placed before free time; but will not start a meal during free time). Also a prisoner who needs sleep will be able to at any time (Instead of only 10pm-8am like in previous versions). Free time is a catch all to let prisoners meet whatever their highest need currently is and in a tight regime may be the only time a prisoner has to meet his entertainment needs.


There are two variants of Work time; Work/Lockup and Work/Free Time

During this time, prisoners may try to work at one of the available jobs in the prison. When all available job positions are taken, remaining prisoners will behave as during Lockup/Free Time, depending on what is set. Work rooms (kitchen, laundry, etc.) must have prisoners assigned to them in Logistics or no prisoner will be able to work there. Careful planning of work hours can help reduce the number of cooks and janitors needed, for example: Preparing food in the kitchen takes 4 hours. The Work interval has to be set accordingly for food to be prepared by prisoners. The laundry and cleaning can be done almost entirely with prisoners, using janitors to focus on areas that are staff only or to finish off laundry that the prisoners don't complete in time. Work time is also used by prisoners for programs. Enough work time must be scheduled for each program you make available or prisoners will not be able to complete them.

If a prisoner does not have a job and does not participate in a program, they will treat this period like Lockup/Free Time.