Ford is a men’s open prison in Arundel, West Sussex.
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Book and plan your visit to Ford
To visit someone in HMP Ford prison you must:
- be on that person’s visitor list
- book your visit at least 24 hours in advance
- have the required ID with you when you go
At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit. Prisoners can have up to 3 visitors over the age of 10 at one time, plus any younger children.
There may be a limit to the number of visits a prisoner can have. You can check this with Ford prison.
Contact Ford prison 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 prison
- somewhere to stay overnight
How to book family and friends visits
You can book your visit online or by telephone.
Telephone booking Line: 01903 663120
The booking line is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 11am and 1pm to 3pm
- Wednesday: 6pm to 8pm
- Friday to Sunday: 2pm to 4pm
How to book legal and professional visits
Legal visits currently take place every Wednesday between 9am to 11am.
To book a legal visit please call 01903 663000 between 2pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Getting to Ford
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.
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).
Refreshments will be available to purchase 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.
There is a visitor centre available where you can purchase refeshments during your visit.
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
To have a secure video call with someone in this prison you need to:
- Download the Prison Video app
- Create an account
- Register all visitors
- Add the prisoner to your contact list.
How to book a secure video call
Secure video calls at this prison can be requested by prisoners only.
You will receive a notification if a prisoner has requested a video call with you.
Prisoners do not have phones in their cells 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 prisoners safe.
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.
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 prisoners learning new skills to help them on release.
Security and safeguarding
Every prisoner at Ford has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.
For further information about what to do when you are worried or concerned about someone in prison visit the Prisoners’ Families helpline website.
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.
Each prisoner 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 cell.
Ford Prison holds over 500 prisoners in mixed accommodation of single and double cells.
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.
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.
Support for family and friends
Family services at Ford are provided by PACT.
Problems and complaints
If you have a problem contact Ford.
Governor: Graham Spencer
Telephone: 01903 663 000
24 hour switchboard
Fax: 01903 663 001
Find out about call charges
Safer custody hotline
If you think the prisoner is at immediate risk please call the switchboard on 01903 663000 and ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.
If your concern is urgent but not life-threatening, please call the Safer Custody Helpline on 0800 389 2246 or contact the prison Safer Custody team using the web form (the team will pick up all contact forms within 72 hours).
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