Ford Prison

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

Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

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

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.

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Book and plan your visit to Ford

To visit someone in Ford you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit 3 days in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit. There is no limit to the number of visits a resident can have.

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 online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01903 663 001
Monday to Friday, 10am to 11am, 2pm to 3pm
Find out about call charges

Email (enquiries only):

Visiting times:

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


You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01903 663 000
Daily: 2pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

The visiting time for legal visits are Friday, 9am to 11:45am.

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 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

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).

Ford has a cashless visiting system. Visitors can buy a cashless card from a machine before they enter the visitor hall and use this to buy food and drink from the vending machine. There are no refunds given for unused funds.

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 and cafe open but food and drink can not be taken from the cafe into the visitor hall. The visitor hall has a cafe area serving drinks and snacks, a baby changing room and a children’s play area.

Family days

Family days are run during West Sussex school holidays, from 10am to 3pm. Residents apply for these. The family days offer a variety of children’s seasonal activities so that residents and their children can play together for longer in a more relaxed environment.

Keep in touch with someone at Ford

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

Phone calls

Residents 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.


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 the resident, 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

Residents are encouraged to use the free and fast online service to send money to someone in prison.

You can also send:

  • postal orders
  • cheques
  • cash

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to The Governor and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

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

Life at Ford

Ford is an open prison committed to providing a safe and educational environment. Ford residents 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 resident 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 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

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


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

Education and work

All residents 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

Residents 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 resident and others involved in the ROTL. Each resident 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 residents.

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


HMP Ford
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.

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Published 11 March 2020
Last updated 6 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. added survey link

  2. First published.