Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberal Party justice critic is calling on the province to tear down the prison in St. John's and replace it with a new one.
Her Majesty's Penitentiary - built more than 150 years ago - is the oldest and largest prison in the province.
MHA Andrew Parsons recently toured the deteriorating facility.
He said the province has a duty to create a better prison.
"These are people who are relatives, family members, and the whole point is when they go into an institution, they should come out rehabilitated because they are going to be released back into society," Parsons said.
He acknowledged it's not easy to ask taxpayers to fund a new prison, but argued certain standards must be met.
Parsons believes the province is waiting for the federal government to invest in a new prison, but he says he doesn't believe that will happen.
Her Majesty's Penitentiary was built in 1859, with renovations in 1945, 1981 and 1994.