An inspection of cells at North East courts has found some detainees are being kept in 'deplorable' conditions.
The criticism follows an official inspections of custody facilities at magistrates and crown courts.
The report singled out Newcastle magistrates court as having problems with rot, damp and graffiti in cells.
Sunderland magistrates and Newcastle's two Crown Court buildings were also cricised for poor conditions in their cells.
The Courts and Tribunals Service says a programme of improvement works will be complete by the end of the financial year.