The warden is the head official of the prison and as such one of the most essential members of staff in Prison Architect. The warden is required to unlock all other main staff types in the Bureaucracy.

The warden's main objective is to unlock the Bureaucracy and Regime tab in the Reports Menu.

The warden drops a clipboard when killed. The clipboard can be picked up by a prisoner and does slightly more damage than bare fists. You may only have one Warden at a time.

If the warden is fired or he dies, you will lose access to all researched upgrades and access to the regime and policy pages until you hire a new one.

In sandbox mode there are more types of wardens with special abilities and powers that would help your prison.

If too many wardens are killed, you will be sacked (this is a failure condition). If your wardens are being killed often, you may wish to build an office with many security features. If your wardens are being killed often then you're going to sacked for too many staff member are dying way before this happens.

Fix: A- move the office(s) away from easy access to prisoners B- put a guard (Armed guard preferably) in the way of the office(s).

Different WardensEdit

  • The Warden

Most balanced individual on the planet, he does his job and nothing else. People just call him The Warden. The default warden, offers no special abilities.

  • The Lobbyist

The Lobbyist has friends in high places, and makes sure the more easily controlled prisoners end up coming his way. Halves the likelihood of receiving prisoners who are Violent, Lethal, Volatile, Deadly or Fighters.

  • Rita

Ruthless and terrifying, Rita has a reputation for running her facilities through judicial application of fear. Rumours of her carrying a whip may be exaggerated. Halves likelihood of prisoners being Stoical or Fearless and Prisoners are suppressed twice as quickly.

  • J. W. Periwinkle

Warden Periwinkle says he was a sapper in the war. He never says which war, specifically, but he certainly knows everything about digging tunnels. Guard Dogs have a 50% chance of fully uncovering any tunnels they detect.

Hint: If you're trying to make a hard prison to escape in escape mode then use him to make the chances of an easy dig out much harder. (any warden with tougher guards is pointless in escape mode because once you get extremely strong and deadly 15% more hp doesn't stop you and your mini prison gang)

  • The Pacifier

The Pacifier has an unusual talent for being able to calm even the most violent individuals. Even being in the same room as him is enough to make people docile and compliant. Reduces the overall temperature of your prison, making your inmates less likely to cause trouble.

  • Saphara Acknova

Saphara Acknova has a spotless reputation and a squeaky clean record. But behind the scenes, shady deals and under the table offerings are nothing uncommon for her. Gets a small cut of the re-sale value of each piece of contraband found - Prisoners found with contraband will be 'fined' directly from their savings.

Hint: Money isn't a problem late game (for effective prisons) or with unlimited money, but is tight early game, and most prisoners you get in the beginning don't have savings to be fined plus you need a shop before her ability even comes into real play.


In early alpha testing custom warden editions of the game were sold at a cost of $1,000 each. The 5 people who bought this version of the game were able to influence the development of the game and customize the wardens along with their special abilities. After launch, these custom wardens can be selected for sandbox play by everyone. Note: It is no longer possible to purchase the customization warden option. (it was limited to 5 world wide)