Prison Architect Essentials Guide
Prison Architect Essentials Guide by Ask_Me_Who
Cell Types, Kitchens, and Canteens
A lot of people recently have been making “Help me” posts and the game doesn’t really have a useful tutorial at this point since A) it’s in Alpha and B) most of the fun is finding out for yourself. Having said that I thought it might be a good idea to make a simple guide with some of the more important or obscure tips.
Entertainment items – TV’s, weight benches, phones, bookshelves, even pool tables. Any object that fills a prisoners non-vital needs. These items are essential for preventing riots.
To get your prison started you will need some basics. The ‘Basic Detention Center’ being a good list of essentials.
The Holding Cell is a shared cell useful for low funds prisons since it is cheap, and can hold many prisoners at once. If you are planning to use the holding cell for long-term occupation adding more than the essential items is highly recommended as it will increase prisoner satisfaction and reduce the risk of riots. The holding cell has no optimal size as it varies by prisoner number but one bed and one entertainment item per prisoner is a good baseline for what to include to avoid rampant rioting and violence.
Regular Cells are very similar except they can only house a single prisoner. The minimum size of a cell is 2X3 and several basic (with only the bare minimum bed and toilet) and advanced(with two or more entertainment items added to increase happiness) designs exist around that size [NOTE – The entertainment items are almost all interchangeable depending on personal preference]. Larger calls can limit the amount of prisoners that can be contained within your prison, but extending to a 3X3 space can allow for almost the full range of entertainment items and eliminate the need for most other entertainment sources such as the Yard and Common Room. These example designs fill every prisoner need apart from hunger and freedom which cannot be derived from any cell designs. Prisoners will attempt to escape their cells regularly using tunnels that originate under the cell toilet. These tunnels grow exponentially quicker when they dig though large water pipes, or the prisoner has a contraband in the ‘took’ category. Tunnels will take the fastest route outside the prisons outer wall at which point the prisoner or prisoners whose cells connect to the tunnel will run to freedom. To avoid tunnel escapes dog patrols can be used to find tunnels locations and cell block searches to find the entrances [NOTE – as the prisoner will dig along the fastest route large water pipes an be used to encourage the tunnels direction under dog patrols. Large water pipes should never extend beyond your prisons outermost walls for any reason as it will make escapes much easier]. Cell block [or even individual cell searches] are more effective than whole prison shakedowns as they give the digging prisoner less time to hide the tunnel. Move guards into the area just before initiating the search for maximum results and don’t forget to dismantle the tunnel using the option within the materials tab.
After you have somewhere to house your prisoners you will need to keep them alive. The next step should be the Kitchen to provide food. Again the kitchen has no optimal size however as a general rule you will need 6 cookers, 3 fridges, and 3 cooks to provide for 40 prisoners simultaneously. The number of required cooks goes down if you have prisoner workers helping, however prison workers are limited to a maximum of 20, and based on the size of the kitchen with one prisoner needing 12 square meters. For ease of calculations assume 1 – 3 sinks will be enough to clean used trays until you notice otherwise, because of the variable time-span between meals in regimes the effectiveness of the sink isn’t fixed. As well as providing food the kitchen also produces a large amount of contraband in the form of knives, forks, and spoons. All these items are made of metal so a metal detector and guard on the kitchen door will stop most contraband from entering your prison population. Due to the use of this contraband as a weapon it is best to keep max sec prisoners and particularly those with the volatile, snitch, or ex-law enforcement traits out of the kitchens to avoid incidents.
After the food is made you need a Canteen to serve it. Like the kitchen the canteen size is heavily dependent on the number of prisoners it must serve. Each prisoner should have a bench and table position at which to eat with a bench able to seat 4 prisoners total and a table 4 down each side [8 total]. The canteen also needs serving tables with each table able to hold enough food for 20 prisoners. The canteen is likely to be the largest congregation of prisoners as it must be timetabled for all of a security level at the same time with no option to avoid it, this can lead to violence as it forces prisoners to stop satisfying other needs for the 1 – 2 hour ‘EAT’ block. For max sec and eventually supermax legendary prisoners such congregations are unwise so splitting the canteen into multiple smaller rooms is a good idea. As a general rule no more than 10 volatile (likely max sec) prisoners should ever be in the same room unless very heavily suppressed. For lower security prisoners several hundred can be served with a single canteen with little issue, however the addition of some entertainment items can maintain order among prisoners who aren’t hungry or have finished eating. These prisoners will otherwise stand around at the entrance slowing other prisoners access, and their needs may grow to the point of sparking violence. This is particularly a problem around breakfast when all needs are high anyway.
Showers, Yards, Common Rooms, Laundry, Cleaning Cupboards and Workshops
Shower heads exist to fill the ‘hygiene’ need of your prisoners and can be placed anywhere, but the Shower Room is designed specifically to house them and is the muster point for regime planned ‘shower’ periods. Depending on your cell layout the shower room may not be essential to your prison, but every prisoner needs to be able to access a shower head at some point of their daily regime. Inside the shower room or any room being used to contain a shower the shower head must be connected to the water system, and drains should be placed to prevent flooding in a line around the door, or around the shower cluster itself. A drain directly below a shower head is useless as they only stop the spread of water once it is on the ground. As with the canteen regimented shower times will cause large congregations of prisoners unable to satisfy other needs so making many smaller showers is recommended in larger prisons. The water makes many electrical devices inadvisable as water coming into contact with broken electrical items has a chance to cause fires, but benches are and option to lower boredom of non-showering inmates. There is no optimal size for a shower room. [NOTE – If you place showers in other rooms such as individual cells or the cafeteria you do not need to mark them as a shower area unless you want to set a specific shower time, this can be buggy as prisoners are not restricted to set showers in the same way as they have specific canteens and cells]
Yards are the outdoor area of your prison. It has no size or object needs and can fill the ‘freedom’ and ‘exercise’ need of prisoners without anything but the room designation. As with all rooms where prisoners are forced against their will fights and riots are common, however unlike those previously mentioned there is no reason to force prisoners into a yard unless you need them in a specific place [More about that later when we cover regime options]. The yard is a good place to build weight benches and phones, to fill the prisoners exercise and family needs respectively, as well as pool tables which reduce the ‘recreation’ need. A running track can be built around the edge of the yard using paving stone or tiles which will encourage prisoners to go jogging, and activity that reduces their ‘exercise’ need. What many new players don’t immediately grasp is that the yard is a large outdoors area perfect for invisible contraband deliveries. Any outdoor area within 10 meters of your prisons outer wall is vulnerable to such contraband throw-ins so if possible such areas should be used for indoor or staff-only areas. If the design of your prison means the yard must be near the edge dog patrols and metal detectors will prevent much of the contraband from leaving the yard. As a large cheap room the yard can also be used to fill otherwise useless space or create a barrier between calls and expected tunnel escape routes depending n your designs.
The indoors version of the yard is the Common Room. Like the yard almost everything the common room does can be included in individual cell designs, however prisoners will only enter the common room during free or work times. If the common room is designed with some chairs or sofa’s AA meetings can be arranged using a psychologist under the ‘programs’ tab [more about that later]. Otherwise the common room serves as a communal area for building entertainment items [TV’s, weight benches, phones, bookshelves, or pool tables] to fill prisoner needs.
After you can fill prisoner needs and prevent riots you can start to use prison labor. Working prisoners have a lower re-offending rate and generate money or services for your prison. To use prison labor you will need to research the ‘prison labor’ option under the maintenance tree of the bureaucracy tab. This required both a warden and foreman and carries a cost of $1,000.
The Laundry can be run entirely by prison labor and serves to fill all prisoners ‘clothing’ need. Each prisoner assigned to a laundry requires 4m2 to work with a maximum of 20 prisoners able to work in a single room. This means the maximum optimal size of the laundry is 80m2. Not many prisons require such a large laundry however as a single laundry machine (1 tile), two ironing boards (3 tiles each), and four baskets (1 tile each and mobile) can cater for up to 64 prisoners. A maxed out room measuring the full 80m2 can provide laundry service for over 250 prisoners.
Workshops can perform multiple functions depending on good available, but generally speaking they generate money from your prison laborers. At a minimum the workshop must have a saw, a press, and a table. On their own this is cause metal plates to be imported into your prison. The plates will be cut by a prisoner using the saw and then stamped into licence plates on the press. The metal plates are imported at a price of $10 and the finished licence plates are exported for $20 [each metal plate makes two licence plates each worth $10]. The table is where the starting and finished products are stored while waiting for production or to be carried to export areas. If wood is available it will be cut into planks. Each log is worth $50 each as a raw resource (with around 3 dropped from each cut tree) but can be cut into 4 wooden planks each worth $50. This makes each tree worth $600 after refining, a good price considering the forestry cost of a tree is only $100 plus staff costs. The 12 wooden planks produced from one tree can be further used to produce superior beds worth $400 each using a carpentry table, although the training for this is difficult. To use a workshop the prisoner will need to have completed the ‘workshop safety induction’ program class while use of the carpentry table for bed production additionally requires completion of the ‘carpentry apprenticeship’ course. The workshop produces multiple weapons and tools of the metal and non-metal varieties. Metal detectors on the exits are a good idea to prevent the spread of most contraband but a guard on the door will help catch improvised items. Due to long periods spent in the room prisoners can make a weapons and attack other prisoners or guards with it without passing though the detector however so constant vigilance is needed from multiple guards. Unless you can control them max sec prisoners should not be allowed into workshops.
Export area’s are the other part of the workshop cycle. Finished goods ready for export are collected there ready to be loaded onto trucks. The movement of good is facilitated by either prisoners or staff workers depending on access rights to the area.
Cleaning Cupboards allow prisoners to fill the role of janitors. Like the laundry each prisoner requires 4m2 with a maximum of 20 achieved when the room is 80m2 large. The cleaning cupboard does not need or benefit from any buildable object but will import cleaning products and brooms which become poisons and weapons in the hands of your inmates. A dog patrol on the exit will prevent poisons from entering your prison and spot most clubs. Metal detectors would serve no function as none of the contraband is made of metal.
Staffrooms, Kennels, Armory’s, and Guard Types
Staffrooms are a fairly essential part of any long-term prison and acts as a resting place for all of your regular staff [everyone except armed guards and dog handlers]. If your prison lacks a staff room tired staff will stand still where they get tired and rest at a much slower rate. The staff room must be 4X4 and contain at least 1 double sofa and one drink machine. Staff will not use these objects however so having more than the minimum is not required. The main consideration when placing a staff room should be its ease of access for the staff, remembering that tired staff are not useful to the prison and move at a slowed rate compared to active members. Depending on the design of your prison a single central staff room might be the best solution, or multiple satellite staff rooms. Since staff will pack together without any risk of rioting the staff room doesn’t need to be very big, a 10X10 room is more than enough to accommodate a 300 guard, 500 staff prison in my experience although multiple exits will help ease the movement of staff in very small designs. Staff rooms spawn cigarettes, lighters, and phone contraband so prisoner access is both unnecessary and harmful to your prison. There is no need to expose prisoners to this contraband source so unless you have a very good reason to do so, don’t.
Dog handlers are one of two staff types that don’t use the staff room, instead they visit the Kennels to rest. Kennels only require a 5X5 area and a single dog crate to be functional, but unlike the staff room it benefits from having more than the minimum as only one dog can rest in a dog cage at any given time. Dog handlers have fairly short duty times so expect up to 1/3rd of your dog teams to be resting at any given point. I.E. if you have 30 dog handlers your kennel should have at least 10 dog cages. The kennels don’t generate contraband so there is no reason to keep prisoners out unlike the staff room, however with no reason to let them in either its a matter of your prisons design. Again consider how long it will take your dog handlers to return to the kennel when tired before you place the kennels.
The last type of staff rest room is used for armed guards only. TheArmory requires a single table, a single gun rack, and guard lockers. The room is functional with just one of each however only one armed guard can be hired for each guard locker built. The table and rack combination takes up a total of 6m2 and each guard locker a single 1m2 square so even a small 5X5 room the same size as a minimum kennel can support 19 armed guards. It is however a good idea to leave a single square empty for guards to stand in as the game can become buggy if the room is entirely filled with guard lockers, this lowers the 5X5 room to 18 armed guards. The armoury spawns some of the worst contraband in the game including shotguns, pistols, and tazers. As such it is a prime target for rioting prisoners and access should be heavily restricted using a solitary door and armed guards during times of violence.
Now we know the requirements of each guard type a full examination of their abilities is needed.
Guards are your grunt labor able or manage your prisoners and put down simple violence. They also perform searches, open doors, and generally keep the peace. As a guard unit they see though the fog of war if you have it enabled. There are many theories and rules around guard numbers but from my experience you will want at least a single guard assigned to each room at all times if you have fog of war turned on, working on a rough assumption that 10 – 15% of your guards will be resting at any given time. You also need several guards free to perform other daily functions (about 1 free guard for every 10 prisoners generally works okay). Regular guards have multiple upgrade options though the bureaucracy tab that require the chief of security and ‘security’ upgrade to access. Body armour costs $1000 and makes all guards 50% more resistant to damage at the cost of 30% movement speed, it also costs $100 for each guard that is upgraded with the armour after research and is automatically applied to all guards with no way to keep a guard un-armoured. Guards can also be upgraded with the tazer rollout program which costs $5000. After research guards can take a Guard Tazer Certification class in a developed classroom, upon passing the class they must viit an armory to retrieve their new tazer at a cost of $400 each. These upgrades are very useful for putting down small disturbances with less chance of serious injury or death. The tazer can fire only once per hour and flashes when it it recharging. All guards are armed with a club to subdue prisoners when not equipped with a functional tazer, however they are very suseptable to getting mobbed as most prisons should have more prisoners than guards.
The upgraded form of the regular guard is the Armed Guard. Armed guards carry shotguns capable of instantly killing violent prisoners and ending riots in the area they shoot but lose the ability to perform any other guard duties. Armed guards are the best way of suppressing high danger inmates as they suppress every prisoner within a large radius of them at all times. Be careful however as armed guards add to the danger level of all prisoners in your prison so any inmates not suppressed by their presence are more likely to riot. Armed guards can be upgraded with body armour like regular guards, however they do not need to attend a class to equip tazers needing only a separate ‘Tazers’ research. This is a good idea as without a tazer the armed guards are very likely to kill prisoners who could be better controlled. During riots armed guards will shout warnings and may encourage prisoners to surrender peacefully, however almost all prisoners in an area will surrender once they open fire. There are also dangers and downsides to suppression, but more about that later.
Lastly Dog Patrols act as mobile contraband detectors. The dog is able to detect any contraband with the tag ‘smelly’ as well as tunnels directly below them. The dog has a smell range of 3m in any direction and will automatically smell any object to enter that radius while on patrol. While a dog is smelling a brown circle will appear over the object, and if anything is detected the dog handler will search the item or prisoner. As this takes the dog off its patrol multiple dogs should be assigned to places where multiple prisoners can be expected to smuggle smelly contraband within short time periods (infirmaries, visitation, cleaning cupboards, etc). Dog’s will also detect tunnel digging directly below their 3m smell radius and indicate it with a tunnel warning and a yellow flag. This can indicate where a cell search may find the entrance to the tunnel but will not stop the tunnels progress without a cell search. Both tunnel and contraband detection’s are open to false positives so be aware you might be chasing ghosts.
An honorable mention should go to Riot Guards who act as a melee focused version of the armed guard. They have superior armour and are able to take on many times their number in prisoners. Riot guards are called in via the emergencies tab at a cost of $100 and increase the danger of all prisoners in the same way as armed guards.
If you enter the failure state for too many continuous riots National Guard guards will arrive wielding powerful assault rifles. They will quickly take over the prison and kill any prisoner who doesn’t surrender. If they arrive you have lost the game and lose all control of the prison.
Infirmary, Morgue, Security, CCTV, Phone Taps, and Solitary
After fights, survived shankings, over-zealous guards, overdoses, or poisonings prisoners will be injured. At this time they must be treated by a doctor who works out of the Infirmary. Conscious prisoners will take themselves to the infirmary occasionally, usually with a guard escort, although most of the time you will need to manually send a doctor within 5 meters of the prisoner to prompt the healing process. Unconscious prisoners will be taken to a bed in the infirmary by a guard. Injured guards and other staff will also visit the infirmary on their own accord. Since prisoners are unreliable when it comes to seeking treatment it can be a good idea to place the infirmary near your solitary cells so doctors will see and treat wounded prisoners taken to solitary. Like many rooms the size of the infirmary scales with the amount of prisoners expected to use it, and so is heavily dependent on your prisons ability to maintain prisoners needs and avoid violence. It requires only a medical bed to operate with one prisoner able to occupy each bed at a time, however 10 beds are recommended for most prisons as it allows a full class to enroll in the ‘Pharmacologial Treatment of Drug Addiction’ program [more about programs later] which reduces prisoners ‘Drug’ need. 10 medical beds should also be enough to keep a population of 300+ prisoners healthy in a well-run prison, however you can build more should you have a violence or addiction problem. The infirmary spawns several kinds of contraband including drugs and scissors so a dog handler and metal detector should be included on all doors into the infirmary. A guard presence inside the infirmary is also highly recommended as recovered prisoners are often as violent as when they lost consciousness so will start damaging objects and attacking others as soon as they’re healed. As doctors are the only way to recover unconscious staff and prisoners before they die it is best to protect them well during riots. Solitary doors on the entrance will slow riots entry into the infirmary and gives you a chance to route guards into the area.
If a prisoner dies the infirmary can’t do anything for them, but theMorgue is ready to help. At current the morgue’s only function is to store dead bodies until a hearse can pick them up. Each body needs a morgue slab to rest upon and the bodies are transported by guards. The morgue does not spawn any contraband on its own but be aware that staff bodies in the morgue retain all their items including key’s, tazers, shotguns, and others. As such it is worth keeping prisoners out of the morgue [NOTE – These items are also on bodies in the general population, if a guard or other staff member dies or is rendered unconscious search every prisoner for his keys and weapons immediately]. Two to three slabs should be enough to cater for a large prison, and during riots where more than a couple of prisoners may die bodies may still be loaded directly into hearses.
The Security Room again serves no intrinsic purpose but several objects can be placed within it to reduce the chance of prisoner disobedience sending people to the infirmary or morgue. The basic room requires the same as a regular office, one chair, one office desk, and one filing cabinet. With only that the room will act as a congregation point for guards but little more, the real strength of the room is its ability to house CCTV and Phone Tap monitors. It is also the location confidential informants (CI’s) will repot to when activated. CI’s can generally be trusted to not steal everything from the security room and a full explanation of CI’s role can be found in another part of this guide. Be aware that the security room spawns door keys as well as some other contraband. Prisoners should be kept out of the room at all times. If fitted with CCTV or phone tap equipment it will become a prime target during riots so solitary doors are advised.
CCTV monitors can connect to up to 8 cameras at a time, switching between active cameras when more than 8 are connected and a guard is stationed on the console. Each camera has a line of sight extending 13 meters from the camera and rotating about 70* to both sides of their deployment direction. Once you have built a CCTV terminal and camera you must connect the monitor to the camera, connecting the camera to the monitor will not work. A free guard will be dispatched if the camera picks up an incident, but for high-incident areas a guard should already be stationed nearby to respond quickly. CCTV camera’s without nearby free guards will achieve little. [NOTE – When placing a CCTV camera the front is marked with a larger black square than the backs black dot, and has an angle with the top protruding further than the bottom compared to the back which is comparatively flat down the majority of its side.]
Phone Taps are a method of listening in on phone lines with the intention of finding contraband locations within your prison. Each phone tap can monitor a single phone at a time when manned with a guard but as phones aren’t in constant use several phones can be connected to a single tap without reducing their efficiency. Contraband found by phone taps is seen in the ‘informant’ tab of the ‘intelligence’ window. As with CCTV you must connect the monitor to the phone, not the other way around.
Once you find contraband its time to punish the prisoners. To do that you send them to the Solitary cells. A solitary cell can be a 1X1 room with no objects, and will function effectively at that. Using a solitary door will reduce the chance of escape when prisoners get angry. To reduce the chance of riots think about including toilets, beds, or other entertainment items in the solitary cells to keep prisoners needs in check.
Or the Execution Chamber. Currently the execution chamber has no actual use in-game outside the tutorial mission. If you want to build it for aesthetic reasons go ahead, it needs only a 2X2 electric chair.
Offices, Outdoor Rooms, and Building an Entrance
The last room to be mentioned in this guide is the standard Office. Offices are the base for wardens, accountants, foreman, security chiefs, and psychologists and allow for development of the bureaucracy research tree. With the exception of psychologists and foreman none of these staff need to ever enter the actual prison so their offices can be safely positioned outside the wall to keep the expensive and easily killed staff away from possible danger. The office also spawns some low level contraband including cigarettes, lighters, alcohol, and unregistered phones. A dog patrol and metal detector are advised where prisoners are allowed into offices. As for the exceptions the foreman is expected to inspect your prisons workshops regularly and will visit them to do so in person. Psychologists serve a dual function with the psychologists walking to common rooms for AA meetings as part of the prisoners program, or prisoners can be sent to the psychologists office for Behavioral Therapy sessions. You will need at least 4 offices to research everything.
As well as all the indoors rooms Deliveries, Garbage, and Storage also need to be taken into account during prison design. Deliveries are quite simply where everything enters your prison and where the trucks unload goods including food and construction equipment, prisoners, and anything else. Garbage is the reverse and where your prisons rubbish is stored while waiting to be exported via truck. Both of these rooms should be placed near to the road so as to avoid bottlenecks and, as they can contain random contraband [Note- mostly tools with some narcotics and luxury items] in the imported goods as well as easy access to the road area they should not be accessible for prisoners. Storage areas should be treated the same way but can be placed further from the road. Items will spawn in the storage area if there is free space and disassembled items will be taken to the storage area for, well, storage.
An example prison entrance 1 2 [Note – a storage zone can be added above the export room and across the road from the deliveries area] shows one of many ways to create a secure air-locked entrance with a 10 meter road clearance to prevent contraband throw-ins. In this design the middle of the large map has been marked with a 2-thick plan line seen extending from the 2-wide path. This lines up with the two blocks at the top of the default delivery zone and knowing that will help you line up your design with the edge of the standard map. In this design the road adjacent area is set to staff-only, however this limits the export zone [mentioned in part 2 of this guide] to only being fill-able by staff workers and not prisoners. Due to the double road gates and accompanying double wall prisoners could be trusted in this design so long as they are supervised. The gap between each set of gates should be over 4 meters so the first gate can close behind a truck before the second one is opened. It should be noted that this design is very secure and features the ability to extend into a double perimeter wall with a 10 meter anti-contraband gap making it close to the most secure entrance achievable. Any entrance with 2 monitored doors or gates between the prisoners and the open road can be deemed secure however and a single perimeter fence works just as well in designs were the exterior 10 meter area is considered indoors or staff only. [Note – This design places a wall in the last free-build square before the edge of the map. Prisoners digging under the road to escape will produce a tunnel on the edge square and are impossible to destroy without buying a land extension. All other tunnel squares can still be destroyed as normal however.]
When designing an entrance several key things should be considered. To put the in a simple list: How close will prisoners get to the road and/or the open edge of the map to escape? [if it is less than 2 secure and monitored doors then you may have problems], Can items or contraband enter the prison without being checked [Metal detectors and dog patrols are useful here.], and perhaps most importantly how will the entrance cope with the quantity of trucks and visitors it is expected to handle while remaining difficult to escape [Easy mistakes involve placing road gates too close together so both must be open simultaneously, or forgetting to make the space between gates staff-only]. Aside from that all design is and should be up to you. The game is all about creativity so don’t get bogged down thinking that example is either the only or best solution. It is neither.
The standard 5X8 delivery and garbage zones provided at the start of every game are more than adequate to sustain the daily operations of even very large 1000+ prisoner prisons, however the delivery zone can quickly become saturated during expansions and is only able to contain 40 new items at a time. Assuming the fittings for a standard cell includes 1 door, 1 bed, and 1 toilet this is only enough room for 13 new cells. Once entertainment items are added this becomes even less. During these expansions consider building a storage area closer to the construction area before ordering the parts so they will spawn inside the prison. This reduces the amount of items which must pass though the entrance and prevents the road becoming blocked by loaded trucks.
Storage zones are also where deconstructed or deleted items are sent. This means that you do not recuperate the costs of dismantled or cancelled items, however if you place an identical object it will cost nothing and the stored object will be used by workers. The number of each object you have in storage is easily readable in the ordering tab on the bottom half of the object image.
Prisoners Traits and Reputations, and Contraband
Prisoners are the lifeblood of your prisons. They are what make you money and what will burn you to the ground. The properly contain them its important to know how they operate and what you can do to manipulate them. Security Levels are the most obvious differentiation but the security level of an imported prisoner actually tells you very little.
The real information comes in the form of a prisoners traits and reputations. Traits first:
Clever – Trait allows a prisoner to dig out of your prison. Only possessed by around 20% of the prison population.
Controlling – No known effect on prisoner behavior.
Destructive – Trait makes prisoners more likely to cause physical damage to your prison when needs are not met.
Fraud – No known effect on prisoner behavior.
Lethal – Trait makes prisoners more likely to kill others either in direct stabbings or by beating them to death.
Narcotics – Trait makes prisoners ‘drug’ need greater, causing them to seek out narcotics more vigorously and causing more severe unhappiness/agitation if narcotics are not available.
Petty – Trait makes a prisoner more likely to engage in petty and non-violent crimes within your prison. Contraband being the main form.
RisksLife – Trait makes prisoners more likely to attempt escape and less likely to surrender.
Sexual – No known effect on prisoner behavior.
Theft – Trait makes prisoners more likely to steal contraband if needs are not met.
Vehicular – No known effect on prisoner behavior.
Violent – Trait makes prisoners more likely to instigate or join riots, fights, or other physical assaults. [Note – different to ‘lethal’ in that the prisoners goal is to have a fight, not to kill. Most victims should be rendered unconscious and wounded unless combined with another trait or reputation.]
Traits are not directly visible in-game however there are ways to see them in the save games text file. Traits are associated with some crimes however. Most of these are self-explanatory but ones to watch are IndieVideoGamePiracy, VideoGamePiracy, MoneyLaundering, InsiderTrading, FalseAccounting, and CounterfeightingCurrency as they require the trait ‘clever’ and so make that prisoner an increased escape risk [Note – these crimes require the clever trait and make the prisoner a guaranteed escape risk, but all prisoners can possess the clever trait regardless of their crime] [Note – It has been suggested that prisoners may be innocent of their crimes so they might not always give an accurate representation].
The in-game helpful versions of traits are called Reputations but don’t show as much information.
COP KILLER makes the prisoner a target for guards. They are much more likely to be beaten to death when subdued for disobedience. They generally don’t live long but may have their chances improved by detention in a protected wing with fewer guards and less reasons to become involved in an incident.
DEADLY makes the prisoner more lethal in combat. They can often kill in 1 hit and so should be treated with great care so as to avoid them being able to kill a rooms guards and instigate a riot. If paired with ‘volatile’ set the prisoner to max sec or supermax immediately.
EX LAW ENFORCEMENT makes the prisoner a target for other prisoners. They are much more likely to be attacked and killed by other prisoners for no reason. Place in protective custody whenever possible or they don’t live long in the general population.
FEARLESS makes the prisoner less easily intimidated. They are less likely to surrender during riots or after incidents. Sometimes they must be beaten to death in order to be subdued unless tazers are available to take them down.
INSTIGATOR makes the prisoner able to start trouble indirectly, prompting other prisoners to start incidents. As a major riot risk if allowed to spark multiple other incidents simultaneously you may want to keep them subdued, or not want to risk taking them to high sec.
QUICK makes the prisoner faster. It’s that simple. When they run they will outpace your guards but that’s all.
SKILLED makes the prisoner able to disarm guards and steal their weapons without having to knock them unconscious first.
SNITCH makes the prisoner a target for attack the same as ex-law enforcement. Move them to protective as soon as possible or they will die.
STOICAL makes the prisoner impossible to suppress in solitary confinement. They are thus more likely to attempt to escape solitary cells when their needs fill up in the small uninteresting room. They are also harder to reform and so retain the compulsion to commit crimes and incidents though-out their sentence.
TOUGH makes the prisoner tougher. They can withstand tazers and gain protection against physical damage and are thus harder to subdue.
VOLATILE makes the prisoner liable to start violent incidents for no reason. Depending on your prisons supply of max sec cells you may want to set all volatile prisoners to max sec so they don’t start fights in general population.
All these traits can be altered by Modifier Words in them such as ‘Extremely’ and ‘Very’. These just signify a higher form of the reputation and make the effect more pronounced. Not all reputations can be modified like this however.
The security status or risk of the prisoners you import will drastically change their likelihood of possessing the more negative traits and reputations, and can even give them multiple reputations. Prisoners with many modified traits are called Legendary Prisoners and will usually have ‘Extremely Volatile’ and ‘Very Deadly’ as a minimum. Should you choose to keep them alive be aware that combination is a great way to lose guards since the prisoner will attack at random times and kill in the first hit. Legendary prisoners can only be found among high security inmates and should be treated as supermax.
To counter-balance the increased risk of higher security prisoners you get more funds to pay guards.
low sec = $50 a day
med sec = $100 a day
protective sec = $100 a day
High sec = 200 a day
supermax sec = $200 a day
Protective and supermax prisoners must be player-defined and cannot be imported though the prisoners tab. [Note – All prisoners, even low sec, can be manually marked as high sec to give the $200 a day grant without increasing the actual danger they possess.] [Note – The ratio of prisoners you get when selecting multiple security levels or import is totally random. There does not seem to be any bias towards higher or lower sec prisoners.] To change a prisoners security level use the drop down box in their character biography page after manually selecting them. Options for targeted manual searches, and punishments are also found on this page.
To start with only half your incoming prisoners will show their reputations in the ‘character’ tab of their sheet or the ‘informant’ view. ConfidentialInformants are a way of increasing that. To recruit a CI you must first send them to solitary. While there recruit-able CI’s will be marked with a yellow ring when looking in the ‘informant’ tab of the ‘Intelligence’ window. If a prisoner has that option you recruit them in the ‘information’ tab of their individual character sheet. All information they find in your prison will be shown in that informant view.
CI’s can also find contraband, however they must be activated to do this. To activate an informant select ‘activate’ from the drop-down box next to their name in the informant view and wait. They will make their way to the security office and raise a little suspicion in the process. Once at the security room the CI will tell you everything they know and it will update the map accordingly. When using informants to prevent contraband flow it is wise to release the CI before taking action as to do otherwise increases their suspicion levels. If the suspicion level remains too high for too long, or reaches an undefined and constantly changing level, the CI will have his cover blown. This will make them a prime target for attack and they should be moved to protected status immediately to avoid death. The longer a prisoner is in the security room the more suspicious others will become.
Work And Education is a fairly major part of the prison experience. Prisoners will work or learn during specified hours according to the regime [more about that in the next part] but they do have some basic requirements. The main requirement being that prisoners will not enroll in voluntary classes such as workshop tutorials or classroom educations when suppressed. Suppression also makes the prisoner walk slower so even those programs they are signed up for are much more likely to be failed as the prisoner will miss most of the actual teaching, or can’t pay attention to the class [joke about school goes here]. Suppression is gained by the presence of armed guards or solitary confinement, dog handlers and regular guards do not contribute to suppression.
Contraband is something this guide has mentioned a lot. To gain a full understanding of contraband it must be thought of as Schrodinger’s Shank. When prisoners are in a room which spawns contraband the game runs several checks. First it checks the prisoners needs and checks if a contraband item available would fill one of those needs, next it checks suppression status, and finally it runs an RNG. This means there are many random parts of the contraband equation. The RNG is beyond largely player control but seems to be effected by the amount of contraband to have enter the room via imported items in some cases. A happy prisoner won’t steal nearly as much so use of entertainment items, free time, and even some programs can manage contraband levels where dogs patrols and metal detectors seem to be failing.
Regime, Needs, and Programs
When building a Regime there are many considerations and most of them will depend on your prison design.
Regimented time slot : Sleep
Rooms involved : Cell / Holding cell
Recommended time(s) : All night. Prisoners require only 6 hours sleep. [Note – nocturnal prisons are impossible as prisoners will not sleep in the day.]
Other things to consider : Prisoners will continue to sleep during free time if it is arranged directly after the sleep period ends. Sleep periods will be the equivalent of lockdown for prisoners who are not tired. During the sleep time is when prisoners will dig tunnels, so watch for tired prisoners since they are the ones who stayed up all night digging.
Regimented time slot : Eat
Rooms involved : Canteen
Recommended time(s) : At least twice daily, three times maximum. Prisoners who go to bed hungry will be difficult to control when they wake up so make sure at least one feeding is shortly before they sleep.
Other things to consider : During their time in the canteen prisoners who aren’t hungry will become agitated. Consider adding toilets, showers and entertainment items to the canteen to keep them satisfied.
Regimented time slot : Shower
Rooms involved : Shower room
Recommended time(s) : As with the feeding need prisoners who don’t shower before bed will be difficult in the morning. This makes shower times late in the day more useful if your prisoners have access to showers during the days freetime to keep their needs down themselves. If showers are provided in your cells or another room that isn’t designated as showers do not use the regime time. Prisoners will use the free showers as they have access.
Other things to consider : During their time in the shower prisoners who aren’t feeling dirty will become agitated. Consider adding toilets and benches to the shower room to keep them satisfied.
Regimented time slot : Yard
Rooms involved : Yard
Recommended time(s) : Fits around other regime points as a break. Whenever you have free time.
Other things to consider : Yard time is inferior to freetime unless you want/need all your prisoners in one place for another reason. If your prisoners have a set yard time make sure the yard design can fill all needs with toilets, benches, and a full range of entertainment items.
Regimented time slot : Freetime
Rooms involved : All
Recommended time(s) : Fits around other regime blocks to rest your prisoners and fill their individual needs.
Other things to consider : Freetime will let all your prisoners deal with their individual needs and they will travel around their accessible parts of the prison to fill those needs. The only activities they will not fill are eating, and work.
Regimented time slot : Work
Rooms involved : Classrooms, Workshops, Cleaning cupboards, Laundry, kitchen
Recommended time(s) : Depending on the programs you have active a minimum time may be required to complete courses. The longest of these is a single 3-hour block.
Other things to consider : Prisoners who do not have jobs or programs to attend will treat work time as freetime.
Regimented time slot : Lockdown
Rooms involved : Cells / Holding cells
Recommended time(s) : Dependent on your prisoners sec levels. Lockdown should be mostly used for max and supermax prisoners too dangerous to grant freetime as it will increase suppression and agitation.
Other things to consider : While locked in their rooms prisoners will dig tunnels.
Now that’s done let’s go back and define those entertainment items.
The Bookshelf lowers a prisoners Recreation need. [Note – The bookshelf is currently non-functional]
The Weight Bench lowers a prisoners Exercise need.
The Phone Booth lowers a prisoners Family need.
The Pool Table lowers a prisoners Recreation need.
The TV lowers a prisoners Comfort and Recreation needs.
The Sofas and Benches lower a prisoners Comfort need.
If you have a problem with any need getting too high during regimented time slots simply add the appropriate item to the room. All prisoner needs (Except sleep, drugs, and alcohol) should be fill-able by your prisoners at all times, with no single (apart from hunger and sleep) need allowed to grow for more than 1 hour.
For the ‘work’ slot to work properly your prisoners will need somewhere to, well, work. After you unlock ‘Prison Labor’ under the foreman’s section of the bureaucracy tree you can order prisoners to work in certain rooms. This is done with the ‘Logistics’ tab and shows rooms where prisoners can work in green. Ordering prisoners into a room is done by clicking the same as deploying guards.
Some rooms such as the cleaning cupboard and laundry can be operated by any prisoners, but the classroom, kitchen, and workshop are dependent on programs.
Kitchen work requires prisoners pass the ‘Kitchen Safety And Hygiene’course taught by a cook in the kitchen. This is a two hour voluntary course with a low failure rate. When allowing prisoners into the kitchen remember its contraband generation and fit appropriate measure to stop it from spreading.
Workshops are associated with two classes. The most basic level‘Workshop Safety Induction’ allows prisoners to use basic workshop equipment in the form of the saws and presses. It is a two hour voluntary course with a low failure rate. After completing the class prisoners will work in the workshop they are assigned during all future ‘work’ times. Workshops also have a second level of training called ‘CarpentryApprenticeship’ which is a two hour class with a moderate-high failure rate. It requires a carpentry bench and allows prisoners to make superior beds on carpentry tables in the future. As this course first requires the workshop safety induction course it is very difficult to find prisoners able and willing to complete the carpentry course.
Classrooms are where your prisoners will take classes in ‘FoundationEducation Programs’ and afterwards the more advanced ‘GeneralEducation Qualification’. Both these programs are 3 hours long and require a school desk for each student. The foundation class has a low failure rate but the general one is much harder. These classes are not particularly helpful to your prison but will lower re-offending rates and increase your prisons rating.
Other programs include the ‘Alcoholics Group Therapy’ held incommon rooms for 2 hours with a psychologist. This will reduce prisoners alcohol need without getting them liquored up. The only other way to fill the alcohol need is to allow booze contraband into your prison.
Psychologists also hold 1-on-1 2-hour ‘Behavioral Therapy’ meetings in their offices to reduce prisoner aggression and make them less likely to start future fights. These classes are automatically assigned to prisoners who have been instigators of fights.
Doctors will lead ‘Pharmacological Treatment Of Drug Addiction’courses in infirmaries. This will work like AA meetings to lower a prisoners drug needs without letting them get high, although it only takes 1 hour so much less time than the AA meeting. It is automatically assigned to prisoners caught with drugs.
These are all the programs that take place during prisoner ‘work’ times. The last program is called ‘Guard Tazer Certification’ and can occur at any time the classroom is free. It teaches guards how to use Tazers when the right research is completed and is led by the security chief. It is only a 1 hour course and has a high pass rate.
All programs must be ordered in the programs tab and assigned a time within your prisoners ‘work’ slots. You can have multiple operations of the same programs so long as you have all the requirements to carry out the multiple slots.
When building a regime and prisoner programs the access of your prisoners can be another consideration. To set prisoner access use the‘deployment’ window to colour code areas. As well as setting entire areas you can create airlocks what can’t be passed by some classes of prisoner. This allows for shared med/min sec areas with separate max sec for example.
Policy and Punishment
Policy And Punishment are the primary methods of discouraging and preventing further problems within your prison. After researching the ‘Prison Policy’ option in the bureaucracy window you can change the punishment for each crime. The time in solitary and lockdown are relatively low impact on most prisoners, especially due to the amount of prisoners with the trait ‘stoic’, however it will effect their suppression rates. Solitary should be limited to under 48 hours in even the most barbaric prisons due to starvation and 24 is more than enough for most cases. The time punishment will effect your prisons ‘punishment’ rating though so very short sentences will not lower re-offending rates. The other half of the punishment is the ability to search the prisoner and their cell. This is important for finding other contraband and should be set to search both the prisoner and their cell for as many crimes as your guards can keep up with. This will have the minor effect of causing unrest when searches turn up nothing however the effect of searching a single cell is tiny and unlikely to cause other problems in your prison.
Dealing with Riots is a part of the game you don’t want to deal with, but you inevitably will. During these instances of intense violence and localized unrest there are a few things you will need to consider.
Can The Riot Spread? This is your number one problem as riots will spread and encompass more inmates over time if you let them. More guards to intercept such movement and move prisoners as far from riot areas as you can using the ‘Bang-Up’ control in the bottom right of the screen. This command will send all prisoners back to their cells where tight corridors will often discourage riotous prisoners. ‘Lockdown’ will also help contain riots until you can bring in more guards or congregate those you already have.
Can The Rioters Escape? The other major danger. Riots can provide the prisoners with the sheer unstoppable mass to punch a way out though the prisons front gates and scarper off to freedom. This is likely to cause failure conditions if the riot was large enough and will tank your prisons rating if not. Once again strategic placement of guards and locked doors will help control and contain the riot while you can react. Fortunately most riots aren’t too mobile and will simply trash whatever room they started in for several hours before moving on.
Can The Rioters Arm Themselves? Once you have the riot contained, unable to grow, and unable to escape you need to stop them from getting into an armory, or the security offices. If they get into the armory they will almost all arm themselves with some kind of weapon (mostly guns) and stopping the riot will become a gunfight. In such a case the minority of prisoners who don’t surrender after the first shot are likely to kill several armed guards and they will slaughter dog handlers and regular guards faster than you can hire replacements. The security room has less deadly weapons but it will grant them access to your CCTV and door control networks. Expect heavy and expensive damage on top of the immediate loss of control over those systems. This can cause line of sight outages and restrict guard movements making it harder to reach the riot.
Once the riot is contained it’s time to fight back. This can often be as simple as selecting all your guards and ordering them to the riotous area. Large riots must be treated with more delicacy as large swarms of prisoners will overwhelm guards if they arrive one at a time. To mitigate this have guards stage nearby until enough are ready to storm and retake the area. Riot guards can be called in via the emergencies tab to assist your regular guards, Paramedics can help deal with the sea of wounded guards and prisoners too, although healing a wounded prisoner may cause them to begin rioting again so it is best to keep a heavy guard presence around during this process. If any of your guards were beaten unconscious you will have to search every involved prisoner for keys and weapons as well as any contraband they might have picked up as the riot traveled around your prison.
Rooms taken by riots will be marked in red for easy identification. [Note – Unarmed staff will not enter riot areas even if you order them to.]
The next part will move on and look at utilities. All utilities. It should be a long one. After that the last planned section will cover prison valuations, selling up, and the failure states. If you have any additional requests please let me know so I can add them.
Utilities, Power, Water, and Logic
Utilities are the nerves of your prison, extending into every part of it, yet they are among the hardest things to build. This part of the guide will look at all utilities and give advice on designing utility systems.
Starting with Power.
Power systems start that the Power Station which produces 1 bar of power on its own. The station itself is is 3X3 and a major fire risk. If water enters the same squares as a power station it will immediately spawn multiple fires within a meter of the station. The Capacitor is an upgrade of the power station fitted by building one in a square surrounding the power station itself. A maximum of 16 capacitors can be fitted to each power station each upgrading its capacity by one bar each time to a maximum of 17.
In each system there can only be one power station or it will cause an overload. Overloads will also occur if you attempt to draw too much power from a single power station. Overloads force all power stations to turn off but they can be reactivated by selecting the ‘power on’ option after selecting it. You will have to first solve the power problem causing it to overload first however. If you have a busy prison consider using the power switch to split non-essential parts of your power-grid so they can be quickly switched off in order to save the rest of your grid from long-term outages due to repairs. [Note – You can have multiple power systems in a prison at the same time, the must however stay totally separate.]
To work out the power needs here is a list of what equipment uses what power:
Electric chair – 2 bars
Phone Tap – 1 bar
Door Control – 1 bar
Water Pump – 0.5 bars
Cooker – 0.2 bars
Fridge – 0.2 bars
Workshop press – 0.2 bars
Workshop saw – 0.2 bars
Laundry machine – 0.2 bars
CCTV monitor – 0.2 bars
Metal detector – 0.2 bars
CCTV camera – 0.02 bars
TV – 0.02 bars
Lights – 0.02 bars [Note – Lights will automatically be placed in a 5X5 grid upon building a new foundation. How the game treats non-multiples of 5 appears to be somewhat random so assume it will place an extra row of lights in each axis]
When routing power around your prison you use Electrical Cable. From this cable smaller power lines will automatically connect to all objects that need power. These smaller automatic wires can extend up to 15 meters and will not pass though walls or over the indoor/outdoor boundary. Electrical cable will pass though walls as well as this boundary, only being stopped by perimeter walls.
The next utility is Water
Like power all water is supplied by 3X3 station. For water this is theWater Pump Station. The water station must be connected to your power system to operate and provides all connected water pipes with water at a set pressure. At this pressure water will flow though 764 meters of large pipes, 39 meters of small pipes, or some combination of the two. Water use along that distance does not effect water pressure and so does not effect the range water can travel in the pipes.
When building your water system there are other things to keep in mind large pipes are easy routes for prisoners to dig though. As such it is usually best to run large pipes though your cells corridors and then use small pipes to actually connect into their cells to their toilets. For the same reason large pipes should never run outside your prisons outer perimeter wall unless you are specifically leading prisoners to a known location with permanent guard and dog patrols.
To set such a trap the pipe must lead into a walled area with a single square gap free for them to escape. You can then post guards to that gap constantly to catch escaping prisoners. Note that if you put a gate or complete the walled area in any way prisoners will continue to tunnel under it, and they will tunnel outside the wall elsewhere if it provides a shorter route.
The water Pipe Valve can be useful for preventing fires by turning off water to sections of your prison that have suffered damage. This will prevent broken items was flooding rooms and potentially coming into contact with broken electrical equipment. If this does happen you will face a fire, although the flooding water may contain it if the flame do not reach a wall or drain first. [Note – This problem is particularly prevalent in kitchens where sinks, fridges, and cookers share space.]
After you’ve got the basic utilities running you can enhance patrs of your prison with a selection of automated systems. The most common of these is the automatic Door Servo. Door servos react to a simple yes-no command system requiring only one ‘open’ command out of however many connections it had to open. This is most often done though theDoor Control terminal or Pressure pads. To fit a door with a door servo simply build a servo in the wall around the door with some overlap, it will automatically open when the connection to it (which you must connect in the same way as CCTV cameras from the trigger to the servo) becomes active. Items with a green light are generally active, orange is inactive, and red is unmanned or inactivatable.
A list of these basic triggers is provided below with what effects an activation.
Item : Pressure pad
Activation trigger : Weight (any human NPC) standing on the plate
Other notes :
Item : Door control
Activation trigger : Stationed guard activates door (prisoner or staff wanting to come though the door must be visible though any fog of war)
Other notes : only 2 door can be opened per second, if the monitor is broken all connected doors will open
Item : Door timer
Activation trigger : Set times of day
Other notes : Times are worked by hour the same as regime timetables so if you are using it to move prisoners you may want to select it to open in the hours both sides of expected movements to ensure stragglers and early-birds don’t get stuck
Item : Logic circuit
Activation trigger : Selectable. Options for “And (1:1) / Or (1:0, 0:1, 1:1) / Not (Reverses input before output. 1=0, 0=1) / Nand (0:0, 0:1, 1:0) / Nor (0:0) / Xor (1:0, 0:1)” – Where 1 represents an active input and 0 an inactive one. All possible 2-way connections which produce an activation reaction are shown but make note that the ‘not’ connection simply inverts its input signal and does not have any internal interaction between signals.
Other notes : Multiple logic circuits can be linked to form complex behaviors. Linking a logic circuit to a door timer and a pressure plate is an easy way of making self-opening semi-restricted doors for low security areas of your prison. The doors will open automatically when a prisoner or staff member needs them to but will lock down for specified parts of the day. Forcing the door to open is as simple as changing the logic circuit from ‘And’ or ‘Or’.
Item : Logic bridge
Activation trigger : Any active incoming signal.
Other notes : Converts connection signals to a form which is carried though larger electrical wires. This allows you to quickly and easily transport signal around the prison. This signal can be accessed by another Logic Bridge.
Item : Power switch
Activation trigger : Manual control
Valuation and failure states
Prison Valuations are a part of the end-game for each map. It is the single value you carry over to your next prison. The value you can carry over is dependent on six variables.
Bricks and Mortar – The actual value of your physical buildings. This is modified by the buildings cleanliness as well as structures with cleaner stuff worth more. This value constantly shifts by small amounts as grime levels fluctuate.
Fixtures and Fittings – The value of any objects and utilities built in your prison. This value fluctuates dependent on objects damage with damaged goods worth less.
Stock and Materials – The value of any objects or building materials stored but not constructed within your prison (only objects within a storage, deliveries, or export zone will be counted).
Staff – Value is equal to half the hire cost of all your staff members.
Prisoner Capacity – $500 per prisoner based on the capacity window in the top of your screen. This counts individual cells only and does not include holding cells. This is worth less than the construction costs of a minimum cost cell even using regular doors so it is very hard to ‘cheat’.
Cash – How much cash you have at that moment (this may be negative).
Bank Loans – How much you owe the bank. All loans must be paid off in full when starting fresh.
Starting Grant – This is the initial loan you get at the start of each game and as with bank loans it must be paid off in full when restarting, although you will get a new grant to repay that value.
On top of that you gain $240 for each hour without an incident (any form of violence) up to 24 hours before selling. You also lose $2,000 for each serious injury, $30,000 for deaths, and $60,000 for escapes. As such it is best to wait for a peaceful day to sell.
Selling Prisons is something you can only do once. Once sold you maintain the ability to profit from and build a prison but you cannot resell it and any gained value is lost to the new AI owners. To sell your prison you also need to meet the set conditions:
- Accountant on payroll (Simply have an accountant in your prison)
- More than $50,000 value (less than this and you might as well start new with a standard $50,000 grant anyway)
- 20 or more prisoners actively in your prison
- No deaths or escapes in the recent past.
Apart from selling your prison Failure States are the other way to end its construction.
Criminal Negligence is the most unique end-state. After the deaths of 20 prisoners within 24 hours you will be issued a warning and further deaths will cause you to be jailed in your own prison. You will then control a single prisoner with changes to the fog of war to simulate this. You can interact with the guards in all normal ways including escape attempts and getting your ass shot off. The conditions for this failure state are a little fuzzy however as not all prisoner deaths count towards this total. It seems like only prisoners killed by guards count.
Too many Escapes can also trigger an endstate. The number of escapes resets every 24 hours and you will receive a warning 1 escape before you fail. If you fail you are sacked and lose control of the prison.
Uncontrolled Riots will call in the national guard to take over your prison. You will be given 6 hours to quell the riot before receiving a warning, then a further 6 hours before the national guard arrive. If you do not stop the riot in this time you will lose control of your prison and must watch as soldiers storm the prison. The AI will then run it far better than you did (It cheats and stops prisoners from doing anything but regime assigned activities, so no contraband or violence).
Bankruptcy is the final failure state. It comes into effect when you have negative income and a negative wallet. You will be given 24 hours to raise your wallet above $0 to avoid failure.
That’s it. The guides over. Good luck wardens.