I tried making multiple cell blocks, with each trying to be relatively self-sustainable (for each cell block, a shower, canteen, yard) but even though a canteen was closer to prisoner's cells, they still went down to the first canteen, where the other cell block was eating.

In other games, when multiple blocks shared a canteen, I'd change the regime so half the population was eating while the other was in the yard, or whatever. Here I didn't do that since I figured they'd go to the closest one, but obviously I was wrong. Here are some other things I tried:

  • Restricting one canteen to Normal Security and the other to Minimum.
    Result: Max Sec had nowhere to eat, but I had so few prisoners there it wasn't worth creating a third canteen
  • Trying to restrict hallways in the same fashion (min/normal sec).
    Result: Same effect, Max Sec went hungry. Alternate paths for those prisoners were used by others just because of the layout of the prison.
  • Ensured that both canteens/kitchens were stocked with cooks in each one. Food was prepared in both (with food on the serving table). Result: The cooks in the 2nd kitchen went down to the first, even though they were not needed. Prisoners still ate at 1st canteen

I suspect that Logistics can solve this problem somewhat, but I didn't really want to direct each prisoner to a particular place to eat, although I could if that was solution.

The bigger question I have then is, is it even worth having multiple canteens and kitchens? I've seen some layouts in the Steam Workshop where in a centrally-located position, there is just one large canteen and kitchen area that apparently services all cell blocks, presumably at different times of the day. Is that the most efficient method? It always seems that fights break out during meal time. Metal detectors at the doors don't help if they use their spoon to disembowel an inmate over some Jello in the canteen.

If it matters, I've not yet had an issue of running out of land, I usually find that a particular layout is faulty, so I sell my prison to start another with more startup cash to test another layout. (I'm hoping I get one big enough where it does become a problem!)

1 Answer 1


I've used the logistics view to solve this. I tend to expand slowly so I usually end up with multiple cell block buildings and different canteens to service each one.

You don't need to assign specific prisoners to eat at specific canteens, but you can assign specific cell blocks to use specific canteens, and the prisoners staying in those blocks will comply.

Go to Logistics mode, then Food Distribution. This will bring up an overlay showing where each cell block goes to eat. Click and drag from the cell blocks to the canteen you want if you don't like the currently assigned or default canteen. Access to the food distribution screen requires micromanagement to have been first researched by your prison warden.

screenshot of logistics mode

  • What actually defines a cell block then? Is it a section of walled-in cells with one door leading to a non-cell area? I've had a bit of difficulty figuring this out because my designs are quite... well... chaotic.. :)
    – Tim S.
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 20:25
  • @TimS. I have separate buildings, so the game calls the whole building a cell block. I imagine it works just like the security level settings. Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 20:27
  • I'll have to try that when I get home then. I assume it'll be in deployment section. Thanks
    – Tim S.
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 20:28
  • @TimS. added a screenshot, I hope it helps. Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 5:49
  • @TimS. - Regarding your question "What actually defines a cell block?" here's my answer to a question that was about searching blocks, but it should help you: gaming.stackexchange.com/a/150927/65306
    – Tony
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 12:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .