I'm with you about the idea of Escape Mode being more realistic, but I think instead of a point system it should be more of a organic "tier" style; to start with, you have to work to gain your stats, you only earn "reputation" by committing acts in front of other inmates, and you have to fill up a percentage bar to graduate to the next level (so no shanking a guard in a secluded corner and suddenly becoming superhuman).
To start with, you would begin as a Minimum-Security prisoner, with the rank of "Prison Bitch". To "encourage" you to gain reputation, at this level you would be attacked randomly by other prisoners. Once you've shown enough skill to knock a few out, you would "rank up", and be able to train using prison equipment to get stats - Weight Benches to become Strong, running around the Yard to become Quick, absorbing damage while fighting for Tough, killing a string of people without taking damage to become "Deadly", and so on.
You wouldn't spend points to gain followers, either - once you start ranking up, other prisoners would come up to you on their own (likely with a glowing circle around them to indicate interest) and you have the option to "accept" them into your group, or "reject" them - which may cause them to attack you on sight whenever they see you in the future.
I would make the "Instigator" stat more dynamic as well - you would build it by standing in a public area like a Common Room and fill a "Draw Crowd" meter by holding down the right mouse button (like stealing), causing other prisoners to crowd around you (higher rank draws more prisoners at a time), while any nearby guards attempt to break up the crowd. Once you've gained the "Instigator" rank, you gain the "Rile Crowd" option, which when activated causes other prisoners to follow you when you walk around - when you find an appropriate spot, click an "Instigate!" button to cause your assembled prisoners to grab whatever weapons are close at hand and start breaking shit.