A report into HMP Nottingham after an unannounced visit has found that there are significant concerns, that it was not safe enough and conditions were poor.
The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, said that the prison was bleak and there were high levels of violence.
The report said that almost 40% of prisoners reported victimisation by other prisoners.
The inspector did say that vulnerable prisoners were being kept safe at the prison and that work to reduce drug supply seemed to be making a difference.
"At the time of our inspection, Nottingham prison was in a very difficult place. The prison faced challenges common to many other prisons, but was failing in most of its core responsibilities. The prison was not safe enough; conditions were not good enough; prisoners were not sufficiently active; and not enough was done to manage risks and reduce the likelihood of reoffending."
"This inspection took place during a very difficult period at Nottingham where performance had fallen below acceptable standards. Immediately before the unannounced visit we had deployed additional managers and staff to the prison to support the Governor to improve conditions, and we took swift action in response to the inspection findings to further address safety issues and to provide a more purposeful and consistent regime for prisoners. As a result the prison is now cleaner, calmer and safer.