Prison Architect Wiki
Prison Architect Wiki

Status Effects were introduced in Alpha 12. They are applied to prisoners and have effects on them.

Well Fed[]

Prisoners who eat well will become "well fed", contributing to the good feeling in the prison. These prisoners are less likely to misbehave, and being well-fed contributes to the "Health" grading. The duration of this effect will increase with higher quantity and variety settings in the nutrition policy. You can get the "well-fed" status effect with Medium Quantity and High Variety, as well as High Quantity and Medium Variety, but to get the longest-lasting effect you will need both High Quantity and High Variety. 


A Suppressed Prisoner

Suppressed prisoners are much less likely to cause trouble. Spending lots of time suppressed also greatly improves both the "Punishment" and "Security" grading of the prisoner, greatly reducing their re-offending rate.

However, suppressed prisoners move slower. They are also less likely to be interested in different programs and when they do take part in programs, a high suppression rate during the lesson greatly reduces their attention-rating and thus their passing chance.

Prisoners can become suppressed by two different ways. The first is punishment, either Solitary Confinement or Lockdown. The second is proximity to Riot Guards, Armed Guards, snipers, or PA Systems who generate a eight, 12 or 30 tile suppression field. (The tile of guards themselves not included). In cheat mode, press F9 and check Influence to see the fields in blue. The amount of currently suppressed prisoners can be found by hovering the mouse over the Threat Level meter.

In the console versions, another method of suppressing inmates is to place PA Systems around your prison, which suppress prisoners nearby.


Misbehaving prisoners may well get shot by a guard's taser. This will apply the "Tased" effect to the prisoner, who falls into an unconscious-like state that will gradually wear off. Unlike beating a prisoner unconscious, however, tasing a prisoner usually results in no injury. Some prisoners with the trait "Tough" have a chance of not going unconscious when tased.


Armed guards will sometimes shout warnings to misbehaving prisoners before they open fire. An average prisoner may heed this warning and "Surrender", applying the status effect of the same name. Prisoners with the "Fearless" trait are less likely to surrender. Prisoners who have incurred the "Surrendered" status effect will stand still with their hands in the air until the effect wears off. Sometimes, a single warning shout or gunshot from an armed guard will cause multiple prisoners to surrender.


Prisoners who successfully complete the Spiritual Guidance program will receive the "Calm" status effect, which they may then pass on to other prisoners. This effect makes them less likely to misbehave, and will allow them to stop others from fighting.


Prisoners who have been denied parole will be Angry. This has the opposite effect to Calming, in that prisoners will be more likely to start a fight or attempt to escape.


When the virus event begins, a few prisoners in the prison will become sick, gain green heads and start vomiting with great regularity, and, if left untreated, eventually die. Prisoners will spread their disease to others nearby. To treat a prisoner, call a doctor or paramedic nearby, and their sickness "need" will begin decreasing. However they will still be infectious.

They must be quarantined as quickly as possible. One strategy is to give them a Permanent Lockdown, or you could place them in an unused bracket like Supermax or Protective Custody and change its regime to Lockdown/Sleep.

High / Drunk[]

A high or drunk prisoner acts in fairly similar ways, walking around slowly, bumping into walls, and being generally unproductive. If you see an intoxicated prisoner, it's worth giving them and their cell a search in case they're not done using the substance, so you can catch them in the act. The difference between being drunk and high, is that drunkenness can't hurt the prisoner, while a "high" level that is, in fact, too high, can lead to a prisoner overdosing, where they will need to be treated by a doctor semi-immediately or die. A guard will pick up an overdosed prisoner and take them to an infirmary for treatment, if there's one available. The alert for an overdosed prisoner is yellow and shows a bottle of pills. As one could likely imagine, drunkenness arises from the use of beer or, as it is called in-game, "booze", while being high originates from essentially every other narcotic a prisoner may steal except possibly cigs (untested).


Prisoners that have not had a drug need satisfied by any narcotic for seven in-game days have a chance to receive withdrawal effect. The withdrawal effect is similar to high and drunk effect as with all these status effect a prisoner will run into walls but is different from high and drunk with the fact prisoners will have an unusual amount of vomiting. After a prisoner has received the withdrawal status effect once, that prisoner is less likely to abuse that substance but will not remove the need completely, treatment will still be needed to completely remove. A safety need is applied to a prisoner after going through withdrawal (unconfirmed).


An overdosed prisoner will die if not quickly healed by a doctor or taken to the Infirmary. When a prisoner has overdosed, the player will be alerted with a green alert bubble showing the drugs icon. You can also hire a doctor where the overdosed prisoner is located, which may get the inmate healed faster. Paramedics can also heal overdosed prisoners. The cause of overdosing is through over-usage of contraband needles or drugs.


An overheating prisoner is caused by nearby hot temperatures like Kitchens or a Power Station. This is the opposite of Frigid.

Overheating makes prisoners more likely to fail reform programs.


A frigid prisoner is caused by cold temperatures. This is the opposite of Overheating.

As of Update 5c the prisoners no longer suffer the frigid effect from cold showers. Hot water showers are optional. If hot water is installed, the showers will provide benefits to comfort and warmth.

Frigid makes prisoners more likely to fail reform programs.

Riled Up[]

This occurs when the corrupting spiritualist or crooked radio broadcaster event is played and the prisoners become angry, this is only temporary.


Starving is caused by lack of access to food. Most often this occurs because either prisoners have no access to a canteen (e.g if they are behind a locked door), or the kitchen output is too low to ensure all inmates are fed. A starving prisoner's name is replaced with 'STARVING' in capital letters, will start to take damage and soon die if they are not fed quickly.