Guidance

Ford Prison

Ford is a men’s open prison in Arundel, West Sussex.

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Book and plan your visit to Ford

Ford prison is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 2 of the National Framework for Prisons.

Find out more about visiting someone in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

We are now allowing physical contact at social visits following a negative rapid test. Find out more here.

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

Contact Ford if you have any questions about visiting.

Help with the cost of your visit

If you get certain benefits or have an NHS health certificate, you might be able to get help with the costs of your visit, including:

  • travel to Ford
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Booking Line: 01903 663120

The booking line is open Monday-Saturday, 10am to 11am and 1pm to 3pm

Visiting times:

  • Wednesday: 6pm to 8pm
  • Friday to Sunday: 2pm to 4pm

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Ford

Find Ford on a map

The closest railway station is Ford. There isn’t a bus to the prison, but the train station is only a mile away, so walking takes about 15 minutes.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitor car park with Blue Badge spaces available.

Entering Ford

All visitors, aged 16 or older must prove their identity before entering the prison. Read the list of acceptable forms of ID when visiting a prison.

All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Ford has a strictly family-focused, dress code policy. This means visitors should wear smart clothes (no vests, no low-cut tops, no shorts, no short dresses and no headwear, other than that worn for religious reasons).

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Ford. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

You will be told the rules by an officer at the start of your visit. If you break the rules, your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.

Visiting facilities

There is a visitor centre available, however there will be no refeshments available during your visit.

Family days

There are currently no family days taking place.

Keep in touch with someone at Ford

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a prisoner during their time at Ford.

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends need to download the purple visits app, create an account, register all visitors, and add the prisoner to their contact list.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners do not have phones in their rooms so they will always have to call you, after they have finished work. They have to buy phone credits to do this.

They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security when they first arrive so it may take a few days before they are able to call.

You can also exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service.

Officers may listen to phone calls as a way of preventing crime and helping keep people safe.

Email

You can send emails to someone in Ford using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from prisoners, depending on the rules at Ford.

Letters

You can write at any time.

Include the person’s name and prisoner number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prisoner number, contact Ford.

All post, apart from legal letters, will be opened and checked by officers.

Send money and gifts

You can use the free and fast online service to send money to someone in prison.

You can no longer send money by bank transfer, cheque, postal order or send cash by post.

If you cannot use the online service, you may be able to apply for an exemption - for example if you:

  • are unable to use a computer, a smart phone or the internet
  • do not have a debit card

This will allow you to send money by post.

Gifts and parcels

Ford does not accept gifts or parcels through the post. Prisoners can order items through a catalogue.

Friends and families of prisoners are permitted to send books directly to their loved ones, or can order books from approved retailers, which can source and send the books on to prisoners.

For the full list of approved retailers, you can read the HMPPS Incentives Policy, Annex F.

Life at Ford

Ford is an open prison committed to providing a safe and educational environment. Ford prisoners all have under 2 years left to serve on their sentence so the focus is on resettlement and on men learning new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Ford has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Ford, they will be able to contact a family member by phone. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.

They will get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Ford gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will meet professionals who will help them with:

  • health and wellbeing, including mental and sexual health
  • any substance misuse issues, including drugs and alcohol
  • personal development in custody and on release, including skills, education and training
  • other support (sometimes called ‘interventions’), such as managing difficult emotions

Prisoners find out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work. On arrival, prisoners share a room.

Accommodation

Ford Prison holds over 500 men in mixed accommodation of single and double rooms.

Education and work

All prisoners are expected to work as they would out in the community. Work opportunities inside prison include painting and decorating, carpentry, engineering, cleaning and call centre work. Work outside the prison is either supported through community service placements, work experience or paid work.

There is a wide range of courses that lead to vocational and academic qualifications, both inside and outside Ford.

The prison’s virtual campus is open every day from 8am to 8pm.

Temporary release

Prisoners are eligible for release on temporary licence (ROTL) once they’ve been approved by the Prisons Risk Assessment Board.

This assessment involves working and talking to external providers. These include the police, offender managers and any other official party associated with the care and welfare of the prisoner and others involved in the ROTL. Each prisoner is different but they are generally approved after 12 weeks at Ford.

All changes to personal circumstances will be reviewed by the Board.

Organisations Ford works with

Ford works with many groups that offer support to prisoners.

These include Relate, Samaritans, Scope, The Salvation Army and veteran support groups.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Ford. If you cannot resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

Contact Ford

Governor: Andrew Davy

Telephone: 01903 663 000
24 hour switchboard
Fax: 01903 663 001
Find out about call charges

Follow Ford on Twitter

Address

HMP Ford
Arundel
West Sussex
BN18 0BX

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Ford, call the anti-drugs and safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 0800 389 2246
Find out about call charges

Leave your name, telephone number, the reason for your call and the name and prisoner number of the man you are worried about. You should be called back within 24 hours.

In emergency situations, you can also call the switchboard and ask for an orderly officer or the chaplain who can help with calls.

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2-minute survey.

Published 11 March 2020
Last updated 26 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated rules for sending in money and gifts.

  2. Updated physical contact guidance

  3. Updated physical contact guidance

  4. Updated social visits booking line opening times.

  5. New visiting times and booking information added.

  6. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  7. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  8. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  9. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  10. Updated visiting information in line with new national restrictions in England.

  11. covid 19 update

  12. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  13. Updated: HMP Ford visiting times and information for visits during the coronavirus pandemic.

  14. added survey link

  15. First published.