Prison Architect Wiki

The Yard is room that can be built inside or outside that allows prisoners to exercise and socialize. It also fulfills a prisoners 'freedom' need and several others if relevant objects are placed.

Yard is also a common place for fights and riots. This is further elevated if a gang controls the area. Therefore guards should be stationed in the yards. For high security prisoner yards, consider stationing Armed Guards and Guard towers manned by snipers

Prisoners may use the Weights Bench to fulfill the Exercise need. So long as the yard is inside a perimeter fence with a gate, it will be considered secure. They may also go jogging (they are more likely to do this if there is a fast path or Running Track.

It is also useful to build an 'unroomed' shower and toilet block for prisoners to satisfy their hygiene needs. Phone booths for family needs and benches for comfort. This reduces their need to riot by giving them some extra shower and toilet time.


Yards can be taken over by Gangs. See main article on Gangs for more information


In sandbox mode an event can happen that in which the player will receive a phone call from the mayor stating he has passed a bill of no exercise equipment in the prison and the player will be ordered to remove all weights from the yard or the player will be fined you will have 6 hours to do.

Room Grading[]

If Cleared for Transfer DLC is enabled, the room will be graded on a scale from 1-10. A rooms grade can be viewed in the menu Logistics -> Room Quality. The rooms grade will increase if the following criterias are met:

Tips & Tricks[]

  • If you have a yard space but leave its gate unlocked; then you will need an outer wall around your prison before it is considered an enclosed space.
  • The outer wall (with a locked door) is enough that you can place the yard anywhere inside without its own wall. However, it's safer to have a walled yard with its own gate (so that you can close it off in the event of lockdown to stop a riot from spreading)