Guards are the main type of security staff members. They hold the most responsibility when it comes to keeping prisoners in check and keeping the peace in your prison. They are undeniably the most important security staff members in Prison Architect.

Unlike most other staff, guards are upgradable through security via the bureaucracy menu.

Bureaucracy Upgrades Edit

The guards are able to be upgraded via the security tree in the bureaucracy tab. The Chief is responsible for the research of guard tactics, policing and equipment.

Deployment ($1000) Edit

  • Researching 'Deployment' unlocks the deployment view in the main toolbar, and allows you to manually assign guards to the sectors of your prison. As of Alpha 28, the deployment view can also be used to schedule when guards patrol/monitor certain sectors of your prison.

Patrols ($1000) Edit

  • Researching 'Patrols' allows you to draw out specific routes around crucial parts of your prison (e.g. the perimeter), which your guards will patrol.

Tazer Rollout ($5000) Edit

  • The 'Tazer Rollout' program extends the standard 'Tazers' program to normal guards instead of just Armed Guards. This forms part of a reform program taught by the chief in a classroom, as guards must be certified before they can acquire and use a tazer. Guards that are spawned after this program has been researched, will not spawn with a tazer and therefore must also complete the program.
  • The Tazer costs $400.
  • Guards firing tazers only have a 60% accuracy rate.
  • The tazer takes just under an in-game hour for it to recharge after being deployed.
  • Tazers are acquired from the Armoury.

Body Armour ($1000) Edit


Guard with Taser & Body Armor

  • The 'Body Armour' program equips all your guards, armed guards and dog handlers with body armour. This helps absorb 50% damage. However, it will make your guards 30% slower. Body armour costs are separate from the guard hire cost, with each set of armour costing $100. The 'Armoury' needs to be unlocked first.

Guard Duties Edit

  • They operate CCTV monitors.
  • They operate Door Control Systems.
  • They operate Phone Taps.
  • They patrol marked patrol routes..
  • They roam around rooms in which they are stationed in, in order to prevent misconduct.
  • They conduct thorough searches of your prisoners, cells, and areas where contraband can be hidden.
  • They subdue misbehaving prisoners.
  • They escort new prisoners to their cells.
  • They escort shackled prisoners from one point to another.
  • They escort confidential informants to security rooms.
  • They bring food to prisoners undergoing punishment that prevents their attendance to canteens.
  • They unload some objects from the trucks, if the workers/janitors are not available.
  • They can sort and deliver mail in the mail room if no prisoners are working there.
  • They go to the staff room when exhausted, like any other staff.
  • If patrolling the outer wall, they can prevent a prisoner from getting contraband, if the arranged place for picking up the contraband was close to the place where the guard is deployed.
  • They process prisoners guilty of misconduct, in accordance with prison policy, before moving them to their cells/solitary or the infirmary if they are injured.
  • They will rush seriously injured/unconscious or overdosed prisoners to the infirmary.

Tips & TricksEdit

  • Guard alarmed

    A guard who has spotted (a) misbehaving prisoner(s).

    Handcuffing takes precedence to escorting. So if you have just suppressed a riot and have a lot of prisoners to punish, Guards won't escort prisoners to their punishment until all prisoners are handcuffed.
  • If you need a bunch of guards to rush to an area, you can left-click and drag your mouse to select a bunch, and then you can give them all a command at once, similar to how emergency services work.
  • While guards are a vital member of staff, you don't need to hire them until you have prisoners. So if you plan to close your prison for the first few days while you build it, you won't need to hire guards until you open for business. Otherwise they're just wandering around taking wages and making floors dirty.
  • Your ratio of guards depends on the type of prisoners you accept, any quirks they have and whether your guards have access to an armory or your troublemakers have weapons. One guard can usually subdue two minimum security prisoners (if they make trouble at all), or one normal prisoner. It often takes at least three guards to subdue a Maximum Security prisoner.

Optional ModsEdit

Please note that this section is for fan-created game modifications, or mods. This list of mods affect the guards, but are unofficial. Use at your own risk.

  • Most Guard mods involve different weapons.
  • Weapons a guard can use via mod include, but are not limited to: shotguns, deagles, revolvers, sniper rifles, 'Mac 10s', knives and assault rifles. These replace the standard baton, and will be used even with free-fire off.
  • A comedic mod for guards and their weapons is the Fork Mod, used to replace the baton and has the same damage.
  • Some mods contain more than just skin variations and weapon overrides, one mod provides guards with a telescopic baton which does the same damage of the regular baton and changes their default names to "Correctional Officer" and such.
  • Some mods change the skin of the guards, making them have different uniforms, race or other effects. An example of a mod change of altered appearances of guards show changes from standard blue uniform to a white county uniform (presumed American, there are also tan or olive variations of such) or to a military uniform (there are also different variations of the mods themselves).

Trivia Edit

  • Assigning a guard to a Dog Patrol or Armed Patrol will still let them patrol.
  • Although they do not suppress prisoners, nearby inmates will not cause trouble and will mostly fight or do something illegal out of the sight of guards.
  • The real-life counterparts of 'Guards' prefer to be called Correctional Officers and some take offence at being called Guards.
  • Guards and other staff respawn in Escape Mode.