I don't want to be flooded and descend into chaos. I want to build a prison that lasts.


Currently, the alpha version will continually send you new prisoners each and every day. It's meant to ratchet up the pressure each and every day, dealing with your new inmates.

That said, you CAN avoid gaining new prisoners by removing your delivery area next to the road. Just click the Rooms button, and use right click to remove the delivery designation. You still need a delivery area, though, so move it further away from the road. The game logic has no idea where to put the prisoners, so they don't get off the truck, and just continue on. The To-Do List will still show you how many prisoners will get sent the next day, and they'll keep trying. But without that delivery area, they just keep going.

That should allow you to stabilize your current bunch of prisoners without gathering new problems. Once you're ready for new prisoners, just put the delivery area back!

Fun note: your guards will still attempt to escort your "new" prisoners to the holding cell, even when they're on the truck. I had a couple guards chasing the truck until it left the area, so hopefully riots and whatnot are not brewing prior to getting your delivery.

In Alpha 2, as noted by @Crowbeak, any new prisons you create have an option to only send prisoners when you have room for them. For anyone using a save game from Alpha 1, though, this trick still works.

Another thing to note, though, is that your holding cell now counts for how many prisoners you can hold. I believe for every six squares your holding cell has, your prisoner space is increased by one, in addition to whatever cells you have created. So if you have the new option set, keep that in mind.

  • But can other things still get delivered even without a delivery area adjacent to the road? Oct 3 '12 at 15:44
  • Indeed they can! Items just sorta "appear" in your deliveries area. Which makes it a great idea to place it outside your kitchen, to minimize the amount of ingredient hauling.
    – Frank
    Oct 3 '12 at 15:49
  • 1
    Exactly what I was looking for. Since its alpha, I have no problems whatsoever resorting to these "tricks".
    – mizipzor
    Oct 3 '12 at 15:54
  • 1
    This answer is obsolete since alpha 30. Would you prefer to update it yourself or would you let me do it?
    – Philipp
    Mar 16 '15 at 23:04

As of Alpha 2, there is an option when creating a new prison to have new prisoners sent only when there are cells for them.


Now you can open or close prisoner security categories (min, normal, max). If you close them all, you will receive no prisoners that day.

  • Where can I find that setting?
    – mizipzor
    May 23 '13 at 11:07
  • 1
    In the Report, under "Prisoners"
    – Landric
    Jun 12 '13 at 1:18

Alpha 30 removed the Continuous Intake option when making a new prison. Instead it has added a new Intake report tab. You can use the Intake tab to control the number prisoners you receive every day as well as the percentage of minimum/medium/maximum security prisoners you get.

Intake tab as of Alpha 30

You can see the new intake system demonstrated in the Alpha 30 video.

Alpha 30 also changed the way you get paid for inmates:

You now receive a one-off payment for each inmate you accept into your prison:

  • Minimum security: $300
  • Medium security: $500
  • Maximum security: $1,000

You now receive a fixed daily grant of $150 per prisoner, regardless of category.


You can open up the save file with Notepad or something and change "Intake.numPrisoners" to whatever you want (Greater than 0, Less than 1000000). Save the file and exit out of Notepad. Open the game and load the save you just edited.

  • Does that make the intake instant or will it only affect the very first intake after the prison is loaded?
    – mizipzor
    Feb 15 '14 at 12:12

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