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Besides from building and managing prisons, there is another game mode in Prison Architect: The Escape Mode, where you are a prisoner yourself and have to try to escape from the prison.
The Escape Mode will automatically start if you met the failure condition of allowing too many deaths in a short period of time. You will then be convicted of Criminal Negligence, and will spend time within your own prison as a prisoner. The Escape Mode can also be started from the menu directly, where you can load any save game to start playing there as a prisoner.
Being a prisoner
As a prisoner, you are able to walk around in the prison, obtain contraband items and dig tunnels from your cell. By causing trouble (e.g. fighting guards), you will build up reputation points, with which you can gather reputations (like "strong", "tough", etc.) or improve existing ones (e.g. to be "extremely tough"). You can use the reputation points to recruit other prisoners to follow you around, and to gather reputations for them. Prisoners in your crew can help you to dig your tunnel and causing trouble. If your own character is knocked unconscious, you can play on with other prisoners in your crew.
When you are being punished (i.e. in solitary or locked in your cell), you can skip this punishment via the according button in the upper left of the screen. This will cost you a reputation point.
When you are in your cell during the night time, you can skip the night by pressing the "Sleep" button in the upper left of the screen. This won't cost you anything.
At any time, you can use the time controls in the upper right of the screen to pause the game or play at double or 5x speed.
If you just want to get somewhere faster, you can hold the Shift key to run for a short while. This requires you to have the "Quick" reputation.