Perhaps the most important staff member of your prison, the guard ensures that the prisoners are kept in line, ensures that the prisoners have no Contraband on them and keeps the prisoners where they are supposed to be.
Their presence does make prisoners behave better, however they do not, on their own, act to prevent anything. They might be in the kitchen and see an inmate steal a knife and will do nothing about it. It is up to the player to use the guards to search the inmate and confiscate the contraband, through the Search Prisoner function (found on the prisoner's personal file accessible via left clicking the prisoner). Guards are triggered to search prisoners automatically if they have passed through a Metal Detector while in possession of contraband.
Guards can be equipped with tazers and stab vests for additional cost via research in the Bureaucracy tab. (This also applies to armed guard and dog handler.) They need to pass the Tazer Certification before using tazers, though.
One of the things that guards do on their own is to escort inmates to their cells or the dormitories or holding cell(s) as they arrive. Also, when you build new cells, they will transfer inmates from the holding cell to the individual cells. Guards will also take prisoners and other guards to the infirmary or morgue if they are injured/dead and an infirmary/morgue is available. Escorting prisoners to solitary confinement, and back to a normal cell (or a dormitory or the holding cell) when their time is served, is also automatically done by guards. Note: guards often take injured prisoners who have recently been involved in violent misconduct to solitary confinement meaning the player has to manually dispatch a doctor to heal said prisoner (by left-clicking on the doctor, then right-clicking on the prisoner). Unknown if this guard behavior is a bug or not.
Guards will try and detain any inmates that are in fights or breaking things (which requires them to use their batons. They will use their tazers if they have one or will use fists if they don't have either). Once an inmate has been detained they will punish them and if necessary, see that they get medical treatment.
When a guard is knocked unconscious, his baton, jail keys and tazer (if they have one) will be dropped to the ground, becoming obtainable by prisoners.
- When prisoners incapacitate all guards in an area during riots, the guards will not enter that area, since it's "above their pay grade" (They will not enter areas controlled by rioting prisoners).
- Guards use batons, which gives them good odds against an unarmed inmate. However, since the baton is not meant to kill, it does not give them an edge against inmates with weapons such as knives and shanks (or if they've picked up an unconscious armed guard's shotgun).
- Unlike prisoners and guard dogs, guards will not kill those that they fight. They stop when the prisoner in question has either been cuffed or knocked unconscious and then cuffed.
- However, guards may still kill prisoners if they have "Cop Killer" reputation.
- If guards lost their equipment, they will return back to armoury if there is one available or use their fist to stop fights.
Hints and Tips
- Be sure to leave some of your guards un-deployed so that if any unforeseen job or incident happens outside your established zones, those guards can rush over and handle the crisis. This also helps when new Prisoners arrive and must be escorted in by a free guard.
- Having built a security room near areas which are common for prisoners to go, such as Kitchen, Canteen, Laundry, Yard, Workshop or Shower, is a good addition, since guards will respond to nearby incidents.
- Hire cost will increase as body armour is unlocked ($100 per guard) and when tazer rollout has been researched ($400 once the guard passes the Tazer Certification program).
- A popup marker of the guard will show up only when he is being attacked by a prisoner.
- Guards are not friendly to prisoners who have "Cop Killer" reputation. Make sure to order him to move when he stops a prisoner with that reputation to avoid unnecessary death of the prisoner.
- Every time a guard spots an incident, they will always alert the Player about it using an in-game alarm sound.
- It is possible to 'recruit' a guard for $500 per day in Warden Mode. To do this, simply navigate to your inventory and right-click over the guard. The guard will stop whatever they are doing and turn to walk towards you. A bar will appear underneath you and when it becomes full, the guard will follow you everywhere and help protect you in case of violent prisoners. Removal of the guard is simply done by pressing the large red 'X' on their portrait next to the Warden's. This can also be done with the armed guard for $1750 per day, riot guard for $1500 per day and sniper for $2500 per day.