The prisons minister is to launch a £10 million blitz on drugs, mobile phones and poor conditions at struggling jails.
Each of the 10 prisons listed will be provided with new scanners capable of spotting packages inside bodies and sniffer dogs trained to detect new psychoactive substances.
The cash will also be used to carry out repairs to basic infrastructure, such as broken windows.
The 10 prisons selected for the programme are Hull, Humber, Leeds, Lindholme, Moorland, Wealstun, Nottingham, Ranby and Wormwood Scrubs.
The Ministry of Justice said the jails have struggled with acute problems including high drug use, violence and building issues.
While governors and staff have dealt with the challenges, the project will provide them with the resources and support to make decisive progress, according to the department.
It said geographical clusters of prisons in Yorkshire, the north Midlands and London were chosen to ensure a targeted approach to tackling the supply of drugs from organised crime in the areas.
£6 million has been earmarked to bolster physical security with drug-detection dogs, body-scanners and improved perimeter defences.
There will be a focus on standardising residential areas, with £3 million to improve the fabric of the jails and new standards of decency and cleanliness drawn up.
The third strand of the drive will see £1 million spent on bespoke training programmes and interventions to give governors support to drive improvement.
A staff college model inspired by the military will be developed for governors, while more junior uniformed staff will be given support and confidence to challenge disruptive behaviour.
Officials said the scheme will be up and running in all 10 prisons by the end of the year, with "tangible results" within 12 months.
It is the latest in a string of steps aimed at tackling the safety crisis that has gripped the prisons system in recent years.
Figures published last month showed self-harm incidents and assaults in jails were at record levels, while finds of drugs and mobile phones increased by 23% and 15% respectively in the year to March.