Prison Architect Wiki

A prisoner's tooltip showing a Well Fed status

A Status Effect is a special attribute a prisoner may acquire under certain circumstances. They can have a positive, negative or mixed effect on the inmate; most of them have a charge, that shows for how long the status will last.

You can check a status effect in the prisoner's tooltip, by hovering your cursor over the prisoner. Each status presents a 'Charge', that is the intensity of its manifestation, shown as a series of '+', from 1 to 10. When the status is currently applied the text appears green.

Status Tooltip 2.png
The suppressed status and the same status while being applied, shown in green.

List of Status Effects[]


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 Reform Programs and, when they do take part in them, a high suppression rate during the lesson greatly reduces their attention-rating and thus their passing chance.

Suppression tends to fade very slowly, and a prisoner with max suppression will heal from it in around 24 hours.


The suppressed status is expressed in the safe file as a number between 0 and 1440; this value reflects the number of '+' shown in the prisoner's tooltip.

There are various sources of suppression:

  • Lockdown and Solitary confinement: punishing a prisoner with Lockdown or Solitary hours rises their suppression; it is maxed out after around 2 hours and 10 in-game minutes, and it won't diminish as long as the prisoner is still under punishment; note that prisoners 'waiting for solitary' aren't suppressed, and that the suppression starts to be applied the moment they effectively start their punishment (not while they're walking towards the cell).
  • Armed Guards and Snipers: armed guards and snipers do not continuously apply suppression to prisoners, but instead apply a charge of about 180 points of suppression ('++') every 20-50 in-game minutes. Their range is a circle of 25 tiles of diameter, meaning they can reach any entity within 12 tiles in a straight line from them. When inside a Guard Tower, snipers' range rises to 61 tiles (30 tiles in a straight line).

This field is not interrupted by objects or walls; the only element that interrupts it is the passage between an outdoor area (no foundations) and an indoor area (with foundations): if the armed guard or sniper is currently inside, only inside areas are affected by it; similarly, if they are outside, only prisoners in an outside area will be affected by it.

Suppression sniper.png
The field of suppression of armed guards and snipers.
Suppression guard tower.png
The field of suppression of a sniper inside a guard tower.
Suppression inside.png
Suppression outside.png
The field of suppression is blocked between indoor areas and outdoor areas.
Suppression nowalls.png
The field of suppression is not influenced by the presence/absence of walls. In the picture, an inside area (with foundations) without walls or door still blocks the suppression cast by the armed guard outside.
Suppression walls.png
The field of suppression is not stopped by walls or line of sight. In the picture, a prisoner in his cell suppressed by the armed guard in in the next room.
  • PA System: when placed in a yard or cell block, it will rise the suppression level of prisoners in a similar way to armed guards, but it only affects the room or cell block it is currently placed in.
  • Surrender: when a prisoner surrenders during a fight with an armed guard, they will immediately become 100% suppressed.

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 Danger Level.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN suppressed Charge 1200.725  LastCharge 1200.749  END


Prisoner getting tazed

Armed Guards can shoot misbehaving prisoners with a Tazer; if Tazer Rollout has been researched through Bureaucracy, then all normal Guards who have passed the Guard Tazer Certification program can also use a Tazer when needed. When hit by a Tazer, prisoners gain the 'Tazed' status: they fall into an unconscious-like state that will gradually wear off. Unlike beating a prisoner unconscious, tazing a prisoner results in no injury.

Some prisoners with the Reputation 'Tough' or 'Extremely Tough' have a chance of not becoming unconscious when tazed.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN tazed      Charge 58.96640  LastCharge 58.98309  END


A prisoner surrendering

Armed Guards will shout warnings to misbehaving prisoners before opening fire. An average prisoner may heed this warning and surrender, gaining the Surrendered status. A single warning shout or gunshot from an armed guard can cause multiple prisoners to surrender. Prisoners with the 'Fearless' reputation are less likely to surrender. When surrendering, however, prisoners also become 100% suppressed.

A surrendered prisoner stands still with their hands up until the status wears off.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN surrendered Charge 29.18575  LastCharge 29.20908  END

Well Fed[]

Prisoner eating high quantity and high quality food

Prisoners who eat well will become "well fed". These prisoners are less likely to misbehave, and being well-fed contributes to their "Health" grading. Well fed prisoners will contribute to keep the Danger Levels low.

To become Well Fed, a prisoner must eat as follows:

  • Medium Quantity and High Variety or High Quantity and Medium Variety food
    • Charge: ++
    • Duration: 1 hour and 30 in-game minutes
  • High Quantity and High Variety food
    • Charge: ++++
    • Duration: 3 in-game hours

You can change the quality and quantity of the food served to your prisoners in the Policy tab of the Reports.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN goodfood   Charge 122.2361  LastCharge 122.2600  END


A prisoner starving to death

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.

Starving is not a proper status effect, as it is listed as a Need in the prisoner's tooltip. A prisoner begins to starve after around 40 hours since they last ate, and it will max out after 5 more days (the StarveTimer in the save file reaches a value of 7200). At this point, the prisoner begins to slowly take damage, and the caption with their name will shift between 'INJURED' and 'STARVING'. They will become severely injured, then unconscious and then they'll die of starvation after about 9 more hours since they began taking damage. A prisoner requires roughly a bit more than 7 in-game days to die this way.

Status starving.png
Starving as listed in the prisoner's tooltip.
Status starving max.png
When the need is maxed out, the text is written in all caps.
Status starving dead.png
Death by starvation.

When the prisoner becomes unconscious, their tooltip won't list 'starvation' as the source of the problem anymore. If you want to save them, be quick to send a doctor to heal them, or let a guard escort them into a nearby infirmary. The doctor can heal the damage, but the prisoner will still be 'STARVING' once healed, so they will start taking damage soon after until they are administered food.

TimeIndex            42204.99

BEGIN Needs 
    LastAte              36479.87
    StarveTimer          3213.75


Prisoners gaining 'Calming' while attending to the Spiritual Guidance program

Prisoners who successfully complete the Spiritual Guidance program gain up to 8 '+' of 'calming' status effect (around 1200 points of charge). This is a long lasting effect, that will take roughly 10 hours to disappear completely.

While it is active, prisoners are less likely to misbehave, and will also allow them to stop others from fighting.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN calming    Charge 287.3670  LastCharge 287.5170  END


The Angry status as shown in the prisoner's tooltip

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. This is why is always wise to keep Paroles under strict surveillance - using Armed Guards if necessary - when a trouble prisoner is about to fail their Parole Hearing.

After failing the program, the prisoner will gain 8 '+' of anger, equal to around 1400 charge points. They will need 12 hours to calm down and lose the status effect.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN angst      Charge 1103.536  LastCharge 1103.686  END

Drunk / High[]

When prisoners drink booze or make use of narcotics such as needles and drugs they obtain the status Drunk and High respectively.

A high or drunk prisoner acts in fairly similar ways, walking around slowly, bumping into walls, and being generally unproductive. Guards will follow the policy protocol for intoxicated prisoners, and it is worth it to search them and their cells in case some booze or narcotic is still stashed away.

The main difference between the two statuses is that when getting high a prisoner has a chance to get also 'overdosed', which is a dangerous condition which will result in the death of the prisoner if not treated immediately by a doctor.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN drunk      Charge 34.52845  LastCharge 34.54496  END
    BEGIN high       Charge 31.20390  LastCharge 31.22039  END


An overdosed prisoner getting treated

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.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN high       Charge 31.20390  LastCharge 31.22039  END
    BEGIN overdosed  Charge 91.20361  LastCharge 91.22010  END


A smelly prisoner

This status has a chance to appear when the prisoner is brewing booze inside their cell, or is about to. Searching a smelly prisoner and their cell will easily reveal contraband.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN StatusSmelly Charge 1.000000  LastCharge 1.000000  END

BEGIN BrewingSystem brewStage 4  prevHour 9  END


A sick prisoner

When the Virus Event happens, three prisoners inside your prison will become Sick, their skin will turn green and they will vomit quite often. If left untreated, eventually they will die. If left in contact with other prisoners, they will quickly spread their disease. To treat a prisoner, call a doctor or paramedic nearby, and their Sick status will start 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 wing like Supermax or Protective Custody and change its regime to Lockdown.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN virusdeadly Charge 392.4366  LastCharge 392.3740  END

Riled Up[]

A prisoner getting Riled Up while listening to the radio

A prisoner becomes Riled Up when they listen to the radio while the Agitating Radio event is active. A riled up prisoner is much more predisposed to violent outbursts.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN riledup    Charge 815.3652  LastCharge 815.0534  END


Overheating prisoners while working in a kitchen

Prisoners can become Overheating when in an environment of more than 26°C / 79°F, such as a poorly ventilated kitchen with active cookers, a room with a boiler in it, or a very hot summer day.

Overheating doesn't take long to dissipate when the prisoner moves into a colder environment, but while it's on it makes prisoners more likely to fail reform programs.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN overheating Charge 29.07591  LastCharge 29.24126  END


Prisoners facing the cold

If the 'Endless Winter' mutator is active, prisoners will suffer from the exposure effect if they stay in an environment with freezing temperatures (0°C / 32°F and below). If the prisoner remains in the cold for too long and let the exposure state max out (a charge of 715 points in the save file) they will die, and their tooltip will say 'Froze to Death'.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN exposure   Charge 238.6066  LastCharge 238.6891  END


Status Effects were introduced in Alpha 12.


Withdrawal is a status effect not currently present in the game other than the second chapter of the Campaign; it can be activated on a prisoner by editing a save file. While this status is active, the prisoner will shiver and vomit. Drug addicts were supposed to obtain this status if they were not allowed any drugs for long enough, but this mechanic was never implemented.

BEGIN StatusEffects 
    BEGIN withdrawal Charge 100.00  LastCharge 100.00  END


Frigid was the status opposite to overheating, caused when a prisoner would take a cold shower (with a shower head that receives no hot water).

As of Update 5c, this effect has been disabled, and now hot showers are optional, only satisfying the need of comfort and warmth.

Frigid made prisoners more likely to fail reform programs.