One of the goals that shows up in your checklist is to feed all your prisoners. So, in order to feed my inmates, I've built a kitchen and canteen. That allows my inmates to sit down and enjoy some delicious prison food. Even then, though, I still haven't managed to feed all my inmates; I'll get most of them, but some either aren't hungry (I think), or can't get to the food quickly enough.

What's a good rule of thumb to follow to ensure all my prisoners get their nutrious jail food?

  • Remember you're playing an alpha version, so this may turn out to be a bug
    – Zommuter
    Sep 30, 2012 at 16:49

4 Answers 4


I managed to meet the requirements to feed all prisoners. Much of it is luck, due to the goal requiring you to literally FEED all prisoners, and not all prisoners will be hungry at the same time.

The To-Do list has three icons for the prisoners:

  • Red icons for hungry prisoners. If you have a psychologist, I believe this is roughly when their "Food" need is almost full.
  • Green Dots indicate prisoners currently eating. This will only happen during Eat activities.
  • Green icons are prisoners that are not currently hungry. They will most likely NOT eat during your Eat activity.

Under the prisoners, you see the Meals "bar" (for lack of a better word). That shows how many prisoners you can feed with the food currently on the Serving Tables. Note that that does not take into account food on Cookers or currently in transit to the Serving Tables.

The simplest way to actually feed all prisoners would be to limit the Eat activity to once a day. Doing so, and ensuring you have enough Cooks to make enough food, will ensure you can serve up the maximum amount of that gourmet jail slop.

Note that there isn't actually any reward for being able to feed all your prisoners; it just seems to be an indicator of your prison's current hunger state.

  • Cooks will only cook for the 4 hours before the meal, so as long as there are at least 4 hours between the end of one meal and the start of the next, you should be ok. Maybe an extra hour to clean the trays, if you're actually having trouble there.
    – Tin Wizard
    May 5, 2014 at 15:05
  • Assigning prisonners to work in the kitchen is also very helpful (less Cooks to engage), but be aware to equipment theft). The Food bar in the Needs tab is very important : prisonners hate to be hungry for a long time, this can lead to a riot.
    – Epoc
    May 14, 2014 at 10:34

One thing I'd add is that in order to feed a large group in time (say, 1 hour) besides the kitchen and enough seating, you also need enough serving tables.

Prisoners walk up to get their food in batches of 5 per serving table. The next group of 5 doesn't start getting their food until all of the preceding group has their trays full.

If you have a large amount of prisoners, you'll need enough serving tables so everyone can que up, get food, and eat it before the hour runs out.

A ratio of 1 serving table per 15 prisoners or so, is usually enough to complete a full meal service in an hour.


Hire a third cook to make sure there's enough food and make sure there are enough places for everyone to sit. I had to move one of my tables a row away from the wall because the prisoners couldn't get to the bench to sit down.

It also helps to make sure a guard is present to prevent fights from starting.


Build seperate facilities/mini prisons for the 3 different security levels of prisoners complete with there own cells, shower, infirmary, visitation room, kitchen, diner, etc. Then designate those areas to the different security levels in deployment. You can also have more than one kitchen/diner for the same group of prisoners. Doing this will relieve the pressure of just one kitchen trying to feed every prisoner.

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