"Whoever raided the utility shed is finished!"
A Roll call is an event that happens between twice and three times each day in The Escapists. There is always a morning and evening roll call in every prison in the game, and some prisons, such as Shankton State Pen and HMP-Irongate have an afternoon roll call at 13:00.
During a roll call, all of the prisoners report to a meeting area, and face the Guards. It is during this time that cell searches are announced. Roll call lasts exactly one in-game hour. There are always 3 guards present at roll call. they are always the same guards and also the same guards that accompany prisoners during non-work routines, such as Showers and meal times. These guards can be identified before the prison even starts, at the character naming screen when you load up a new game in a prison. And they will always have three of the five keys. From left to right, the first guard that appears in the character naming screen will be the one who actually makes the announcements during a roll call and will have the Cell Key, the second guard will be silent and have the Utility Key and usually stands in the middle of the three, and the third guard will have the Entrance Key and usually stand on the far side of the first guard. To avoid confusion about what guard has what key, you can rename the guards to help you remember what key they have (for example, name the second guard "orangekey" or "number2" etc.).
When there is a roll call, you need to go to the meeting point before the timer ends. If you don't appear to the roll call, the prison will be put on Lockdown, and a 98 second long timer will start counting down. The guards will beat you up and put you in solitary. When guards see you outside the roll call area during a roll call, you will gain Guard Heat.
On the other hand, roll call can be a good time to buy items off of other inmates, because all of the inmates in the prison will be in the same general area.
It is important that you go to roll call so that you can see if you are getting your cell searched. This is called a Shakedown. If you don't know this information, you won't know whether to hide your contraband or not. The cell searches are announced at the beginning half of roll call (in The Escapists 2, it will be announced the end), and in order to see the names, you must go to roll call quickly or you will miss the names. If you do not see who the cell searches are, it is always safe to assume that it is you and hide your contraband just to be safe. Never assume (or hope) your name wasn't called and go off with your business normally, only to realize your name was called later and get frustrated by loss of progress. In The Escapists 2, you don't have to wait for the announced shakedowns. If you're chosen for shakedown, a "Desk Search" message will appear on the top right, notifying you of shakedown danger.
You only need to show up at roll call for a brief second for it to count and you can leave any time. You do not need to stay for the whole hour. Usually it is best to go on time and stay just long enough to see the cell searches and then leave. However, in TE1, even after showing up at roll call and then leaving, guards who see you outside the roll call area will cause you to gain heat, 10% for each guard who sees you.
If roll call begins while you are executing your escape plan, it is best to abort the escape. A fast escape can still be performed, but most tedious escapes, such as digging, are best avoided during roll call.