Conditions at a prison described as having a "difficult history" are improving, a new report says.
Prisoners enjoy better conditions at Chelmsford jail.
Chelmsford Prison has been praised by chief inspector of prisons Anne Owers.
But her report says there is still much left to do to make conditions better and it raises concerns about the increased use of force by officers.
Chelmsford inmate Kevin White reacted to the report and conditions at the prison. He said: "It's about being recognised as somebody not a number."
The report recognises that extra activities are improving the well being of prisoners.
Mr White said: "If you work hard and do not play up, remembering you're in prison, you can get along."
But prisoners' occupation is no longer about sewing mail bags. Many are developing computer skills and trades according to governor Stephen Rodford.
However, amid the praise in the report the authors expressed deep concerns about how often prison officers use force.