I have several janitors in my prison, and they spend the majority of their time mopping up blood and urine (unsung heroes of the correctional system, no doubt) and doing laundry. They do not, however, go into the prisoner's cells to do any mopping. They of course will not go in while the cell is occupied, but even when the prisoners are eating or in the yard, directing a janitor to clean a particular cell just results in them leaving and doing other things. Many of my prisoners are complaining about Environment, which from what I read is almost entirely (if not entirely) related to how clean their current area is. This one guy's cell is so full of urine and feces, he's pretty upset. (Why he can't think it's his own damn fault is beyond me, but then again I don't understand the criminal mind.) His toilet is in full working order, and has been checked for tunnels. At least I could understand if his toilet was a facade and he had to take a crap elsewhere, but alas, that is not the case here.

Is there any way to force a janitor to clean a cell, or better yet, a team of janitors to clean an entire cell block while it's empty? I'd prefer not to have to dezone the cells, but if that's what it takes once every couple weeks, I'm not above doing that. (It'd be a last resort, if it even works, that is.)

  • What type of doors do you have on your cells - standard or jail?
    – psyk0
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 21:23
  • Jail cell doors, but guards are nearby to open them. I've even locked them open to no avail.
    – Tim S.
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 6:55
  • What's your janitor to prisoner ratio?
    – Tony
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 18:18
  • Around 200 prisoners and maybe 5 janitors. Does that make a difference?
    – Tim S.
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 1:12
  • @TimS. for a prison of that size I'm normally running at 40 janitors or so
    – Rory
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, there is no way to direct the janitors (or gardeners) where to work; their AI decides what they should do.

There are a few of things you could do to help your prison stay cleaner, each with their own pros and cons.

  • You could hire more janitors, which will cost money upfront to hire them, and their ongoing wages.

  • You could create some cleaning cupboards and assign prisoners to work there, allowing them to help clean the prison. This can greatly increase your ability to clean your prison. Doing so requires you to have researched prison labour. There is no upfront cost (unless you build a new room for the cupboard), but it will cost a little ongoing expense in the form of bleach that will be auto-purchased for the prisoners to use to clean and the prisoner's $0.50/hour wages. It will also be a source of contraband.

  • You could also assign prisoners to work in your laundry, alleviating the janitors need to do this job and allowing them more time to clean. Doing so again requires prison labour. The upside to this option is that there is no upfront cost and the only ongoing expense is the prisoner's $0.50/hour wages. Also, the laundry is not a source of contraband!

Using any one of these things, or better yet a combination of all three should help keep things cleaner.

As DMA mentioned in the comments, working prisoners earn wages but you can recoup some of the wages you pay your prisoners by opening up a shop where they can spend their earnings. This also has other benefits such as giving your prisoners motivation to participate in training programs, it will also improve their concentration in them because they want to earn spending money. The shop itself is not a source of contraband, but the shop goods boxes that are delivered there are. It would be best to make sure your shop goods get carried through a metal detector and by a dog on their way to the shop.

  • 1
    WRT ongoing costs: Since Alpha 34 (June 2015, forums.introversion.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=53540) prisoners receive a wage of $0.50/hour, so the laundry does have a small ongoing expense for using prisoners to work it (and there's that on top of the bleach costs for the cleaning cupboard). You can get some of this back by providing a shop that prisoners can spend their accumulated wealth.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 14:57
  • +DMA57361 Thanks! I thought that was a factor but couldn't remember when it was added. I didn't include it since the laundry/cleaning cupboard wiki pages didn't mention it. Answer updated. Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 14:14
  • I do have prisoners working the laundry and cleaning closet, and they do work on laundry and mopping, but just nowhere near enough. The janitors will still mop and help with the laundry. Perhaps I need a bigger laundry room so I can hire more people...
    – Tim S.
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 2:52
  • That and you may want to make your work regime longer too if you have room in your schedule. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 1:54

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