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A Prison is the aim of the game and where the premise of (Prison Architect) is set. Your goal is to create and manage your own prison system in the way you want it. Using the facilities provided to you the only restriction is your mind.

Build a sprawling mini-retreat for minimum security prisoners with lush cells, TV's and forests or the bare bones legal minimum with a bed, toilet and nothing but your own company. The player is not restricted and can also purchase additional land sets through game unlocks to increase their land size.

You will currently start the game (as of Alpha 11) (in Sandbox Mode at least) with a plot of land (size customisable upon creating a new Prison), a Deliveries zone, a Garbage area and 8 workmen.


A prison is comprised of:


  • Every prison needs a Warden - he should be one of your first hires. Build him a nice office and he'll open up a whole range of advanced facilities via the bureaucracy system.
  • When designing your prison, consider the natural flow, you want to keep prisoners far away from the front exits. Fences are free, be sure to use them!
  • Individual jail cells are expensive, especially early on when funds are very tight. Save money by starting with a large Holding Cell instead, which can be shared between many prisoners at once.
  • Get your Kitchen and Canteen up and running before the first prisoners show up, and be sure to hire some Cooks - nothing irritates a prisoner more than an empty stomach!
  • Place your Kitchen and Canteen in close proximity to one another to ensure ease of access for your cooks (and remember, the Cooks will collect ingredients from the delivery area, so it's best to have the Kitchen as near to this as is practical), just make sure the inmates don't have access to the Kitchen.
  • There are three kinds of prison doors: The jail door, which only opens for a guard, the normal doors, which everyone can use and the staff only doors. Make sure you build staff only doors where your prisoners shouldn't be.
    • Also, you can mark areas as "staff only" in Deployment for wide-scale control..
  • Make sure that your prisoners don't have access to the outer edge of the map. Inmates will make a run for it if they have a chance.
    • A good way to deal with this is to surround your prison with Fence or any sort of walling.