I have a Protective Custody (PC) dormitory for snitches and ex-cops, and I have one that is "Extremely Volatile". I didn't get the usual flash of a guard icon when there is a fight, and there's no sound bit for this fight, but it looks like the guards are beating the hell out of the inmate. The mouseover says the inmate is "Spoiling", but I have no idea what that means. A reddit post showed something similar but didn't provide any answers. Also, the PA wiki doesn't show anything for "Spoiling" in the Status Effects section.

Any thoughts on what is going on here?

enter image description here

Update: Two in-game days later, this is still happening, the guards are really working this guy over. Man he can take a beating!

Update Two: On a hunch, I reclassified him as a Minimum Security inmate, and ended his permanent lockdown (How I keep the PC inmates in their dorm, has worked so far) and the guards tazed him immediately and then left. I reclassified him as PC/Permanent Lockdown and it seems fine. I have no idea what happened here though, still looking for answers.

Update Three: This seems to me to be a bug, as I originally thought and Sumurai8 thought as well. The issue was that he was constantly being violent, and permanent lockdown with other inmates didn't do any good either. I ended up taking care of the issue old-school: I removed his PC status, ended his permanent lockdown and assigned him to the max-sec wing. He immediately went into the common room to lift weights, where 3-4 other tough looking fellows were there. An inmate with a bandana followed him into the common room, and took care of the problem. He already had a life sentence, so what's another one? Issue resolved. I almost feel guilty about it. If only inmate Doney could have controlled that temper. #shawshank #gonnahaveanaccident.

  • If he is volatile I'm guessing he was starting the trouble and the guards were reacting to it. Check his needs, if he has a high freedom need being on permanent lock down would probably keep him constantly pissed off. Strange that moving him to minimum and back to protected custody seems to have fixed it, it might have been a bug that came out of a loop of some sort with the reclassification. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 3:45
  • Well since then, he has picked fights with the guards, but it's the usual fight, with a flashing guard icon and they taze him, and fight over. Previous it was a neverending beatdown. Probably a bug I'm guessing.
    – Tim S.
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 4:03

1 Answer 1


I believe the "Spoiling" action takes place when the bladder need is filled up, and the prisoner can not reach a toilet in time. It's bladder will go down, as will it's hygiene. When a prisoner is in "fight mode" it will ignore any of its needs. It will only beat anything that comes in its path.

The Spoiling behaviour type is what happens when the privacy need it not met. The privacy need is not met because you locked people up in a dormitory. Consider building seperate cells for your protected custody inmates.

Your inmate should have been knocked out and put in cuffs when they started fighting, but it seems it was bugged. By manually taking control and changing how the prisoner was classified, you started a different traject where the prisoner is cuffed, and transported.

I recommend to use the permanent lockdown feature only for prisoners that are otherwise dangerous to the prison (e.g. gang leaders). Use the designated "protected custody" for ex-cops and snitches, so those prisoners can fulfil their needs.

  • Protected Custody and Permanent Lockdown are not mutually exclusive. If I put them in PC, they will still eat in canteens during the Eat regime, and get shanked there, unless I build them a separate canteen, but usually I don't have enough PC inmates to warrant it. Also, I've seen dozens of inmates "Defecating and Urinating" (that's what it says in the action piece) when they don't want to/can't make it to a toilet in time, and I've never seen the word "Spoiling" anywhere else.
    – Tim S.
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 17:54
  • I've looked up the file with needs. The Bladder need causes the Urinating behaviour if not met, the Bowels need causes the SoilSuit behaviour, which I mistook for the one you encountered. The Spoiling behaviour is what happens when the privacy need is not met, which is caused by locking people up in a dormitory with other inmates. I still recommend to only put dangerous prisoners in permanent lockdown. You only have to build a 4x6 canteen and an even smaller kitchen. Permanent lockdown causes riots.
    – Sumurai8
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 21:50
  • 1
    Another solution is to simply feed PC prisoners at different times, where other prisoners aren't in the canteen Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 14:36
  • That only works if you lock up the rest. Otherwise prisoners will wander into that general area for some reason or another.
    – Sumurai8
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 14:41
  • @Sumurai8 You can lock your PC prisoners in your PC wing by having it accessible only through a corridor marked as "staff only". That way prisoners will be unable to leave it on their own during free time and will only escorted through it by a guard when they have some important business to attend to (cell transfer, release...).
    – Philipp
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 13:29

You must log in to answer this question.

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