THE Dochas Centre has been described as "shabby" by a prison-visiting committee.
The women's prison, which is located in the grounds of Mountjoy, was described as having "shabby accommodation".
The committee complained of overcrowding, lack of toilets for visitors, and inadequate medical and dental services.
Their report, along with reports from Cloverhill and Castlerea Prisons, was published by Justice Minister Alan Shatter yesterday.
All three raised concerns about staffing levels in the jails and the impact this was having.
The Dochas Centre visitors said the roof there had leaks.
It said the kitchens were "in a state of disrepair".
The Dochas Centre is currently home to some of the country's most notorious female inmates including Catherine Nevin, and 'Scissor Sisters' Charlotte and Linda Mulhall.
The centre was built to accommodate 85 women – but now caters for up to 130.
The committee said it received a number of complaints from inmates – particularly those with children – about the absence of toilets.
Other complaints included access to pain relief, dental health and lack of mental health training among staff.
The visitors to Cloverhill, said overcrowding was a problem with the population reaching 500 at times, resulting in inmates sleeping on the floor.
A new EU report shows that Ireland is second only to Montenegro for the rate at which it releases inmates from prison.