A hi-tech gateway system has come into operation in an effort to improve security at Stafford Prison.
It features electronic doors, which make it easier to admit prison vehicles, and a new entrance for visitors.
Until now, visitors have to use the same entrance as inmates.
Prison guards will be able to monitor the gates from a new watch room, equipped with CCTV.
Governor Louise Taylor described it as a "vital" new facility.
It is the second welcome development at Stafford Prison in a week.
Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons, recently praised the jail for having "few instances of bullying or self harm", which she said was in stark contrast to conditions there three years ago.