Inmates are the other prison members in the facility. Different amounts of them are in each prison facility. Items can be bought, sold, and given, and they can ask for a favour. Inmates can be talked to (by left-clicking on them), resulting in an inmate's improved Opinion of you by 1+ for every quote they say. This does not apply to random things an Inmate will say. You can also give them most items in the game, reactions differ, but in most occasions their opinion will increase. They can also be picked up and you can take or put things in their pockets when downed, which is useful for smuggling things through contraband detectors as inmates can't trigger them. Simply put them down in the detector and collect on the other side. (This won't work in The Escapists 2, as you can't place anything, downed characters included, in certain areas such as detectors.) If Guards see you holding or stealing from an inmate, your heat will increase by 10% and they will attack you. If an inmate has an opinion of at least 80, the player may recruit that inmate by pressing "Q" while near them to fight alongside the player and later dismiss them if needed (you need at least 90 opinion on console for inmates to be recruited). Recruiting inmates doesn't work in The Escapists 2. When inmates are sent to attack, they can pass through locked doors.
Inmates carry various items around. When knocked out, you can loot their pockets, which, in some cases, may sometimes contain useful items. It appears, though is not verified, that inmates in TE2 more commonly wield the Baseball Bat, Sock Mace or Whip, and when those armed inmates are knocked out, tend to have Medikits, Comb Blades or Glass Shanks in their pockets.
If an inmate's opinion is low enough, they may decide to attack the player, though guards will generally attack the inmate in response. Of course, inmates may randomly attack each other, often when wandering in prison halls, during exercise period, or shower block.
Note: If an inmate has a higher opinion, he will sell items at a lower price, as well as if he has a lower opinion, he will sell items at a higher price (if he sells something).
The default names of the inmates are as follows (from left to right above): Rabbit, Maru, YoungBuck, BaldEagle, OldTimer, Tango, BillyGoat, Lifer, Froseph and the DLC characters Clint, Buddy and Connelly.
The player can customize their character (and those in prisons during game setup). The player is provided with 10 character slots in the main menu [verify]. These slots are used to name and customize inmates for the player to play as in-game.
The following aspects of the character can be customized:
- Skin color (3 options)
- Hair (shows up underneath hats, if large enough)
- Hat (is overridden by the Guard Outfit or Riot Guard Outfit)
- Upper Face (glasses, etc.)
- Lower Face (facial hair, bandannas, etc.)
Customization items can be unlocked simply by playing the game. Escaping from each prison for the first time unlocks a unique customization item (and color variants.)
Inmates can sometimes be seen stuck in walls. What causes this is unknown. Sometimes they can get stuck going left and right at the same time, causing them to just spin in place. This can also happen to guards, too. Also in the Jingle Cells prison, one inmate walks into the wall outside at showers. Also, sometimes in Console ports, knocked out inmates will appear glitched, either stuck in the walking animation until they recover, having a duplicate of themselves on them doing the glitch, and more. There is also a glitch in TE2 that the prisoner in the bed keeps standing and sleeping. The only way to remove this glitch is to attack them.