A Cell is a room of your prison where one Prisoner can live and sleep. To house more than one prisoner per cell you must use a dormitory.

When there are not enough cells, prisoners will either have no cell or move into a Holding Cell if there is one available.

Cells are generally regarded as better permanent accommodation for your prisoners, as their contained nature means prisoners satisfy their privacy need and are much less likely to fight or riot.

Having a prisoner in their cell contributes to their punishment rating as being prisoners don't like being locked in their cells for long periods of time therefore discouraging them from future crime.


2014-02-03 00005
  • Indoors
  • Minimum Size 2x3 (3 tiles after researching "Small Cells")
  • Bed
  • Toilet
  • Enclosed - Surrounded by walls and at least one door.


Optional ways to improve cell quality:

  • Radio ($100)
  • Bookshelf ($30)
  • TV ($200)
  • Window (outdoor view for improvement credit, not indoor view) ($200)
  • Office Desk ($30)
  • Chair ($30)
  • Shower Head ($20)
    • Drain (recommedned, if not installed water could damage electronics) ($20)
  • 9 (3x3) or 16 (4x4) Cell size

Cell Lockdown Edit

In some situations, all prisoners will be sent to their cells until the end of the event. These events include:

  • Lockdown in which you order all prisoners to their cells until you stop the lockdown. Although it can be used to restore order, if you keep them there for too long prisoners will become very unhappy
  • If a death row prisoner is being led to his execution all prisoners will be sent to their cells until the prisoner is in the execution room.


  • When starting a new prison build a holding cell or a dormitory as they are cheaper than individual cells.
  • Prisoners who are attempting to tunnel their way out of their cell will always start digging under the toilet.  Try to place toilets as far from the exterior wall as possible,  this will increase their chances of being detected before they escape, as it will slow their digging progress.
  • Adding a window (with outdoor view) to a cell makes their need for freedom build up slower, which makes them less likely to construct escape tunnels.
  • Don't mark the doorway as part of the cell; the floor area marked as "cell" should be inside the perimeter of the walls and door squares.
  • Use a Jail Door and it will lock and unlock automatically when transitioning to and from periods of sleep or lockdown. Solitary or Staff doors will require guards or a Door Servo to unlock them. Standard Doors can be used on cells; prisoners do not leave their cells even though they can open the door.
  • Phone Booths, Showers, and Weight Benches can be added to cells so that Maximum, SuperMax, and Death Row security prisoners can have as little contact with other prisonners as possible.


  • Prior to Alpha 13, cells did not have to be enclosed.