Inmates in Peterhead Prison are living with the "disgrace" of slopping out amid the worst conditions of any Scottish jail, a report has concluded.
The future of Peterhead Prison remains unclear
The chief inspector of prisons said it was Scotland's only prison where slopping out was usual practice.
Dr Andrew McLellan also warned that sending Peterhead's sex offenders back into the community without preparatory supervision was not ideal for safety.
However, he said relationships between staff and prisoners were good.
Dr McLellan said: "Prisoners in Peterhead are living in the worst conditions in any prison in Scotland.
"The ending of slopping out in several prisons in the last two years has been welcomed in reports.
"Its continuation in Peterhead remains a disgrace. It is the worst single feature of prisons in Scotland."
He also commented that every prisoner in Peterhead was a sex offender who, when released into the community, generated the greatest public anxiety, yet were the worst prepared for release.
"Sending sex offenders straight back into the community at the end of their sentences without any preparatory supervision in the community is not a good recipe for safety," he added.
Positives included the use of drugs was very limited and that food and visiting arrangements consistently received high marks from prisoners.
Dr McLellan noted a large number of complaints about the prison were made by a small number of prisoners.
He added: "The inspection report of 2004 made clear that uncertainty over the prison's future was as great as ever. Now the demoralising effect of uncertainty has continued for another year.
"A consultation on the future of Peterhead concluded in November 2005 and there has still been no announcement.
"That is bad for those who want to attract capital investment, bad for staff morale and, sooner or later, it will be bad for prisoners."