Ford Prison

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 72 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 3 adults over 18 and any number of 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
  • meals

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 Friday: 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm.

Visiting times:

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

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

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).

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.

Visiting facilities

There is a visitor centre available where you can purchase refeshments 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

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.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

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.

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

Family services at Ford are provided by PACT.

Concerns, problems and complaints

In an emergency

Call 01903 663000 if you think a prisoner is at immediate risk of harm. Ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.

Contact category Phone number Additional information
Non-emergency 0800 389 2246 Call this number if you have concerns about a prisoner’s safety or wellbeing which are serious but not life-threatening or complete a safer custody contact form on the Prisoners’ Families Helpline website.
Staff Integrity Hotline 0800 917 6877
(24 hours answering machine)
This number can be called anonymously. If you are concerned about a prisoner being bullied by a member of staff, you can use this number. As this line is managed separately from the prison, you can call this number anonymously.
Prisoners’ Families Helpline 0808 808 2003 The Prisoners’ Families Helpline can provide confidential support, advice and guidance.
Unwanted Prisoner Contact 0300 060 6699 If a prisoner is contacting you and you want them to stop, you can use the Unwanted Prisoner Contact Service.

You can complete the Stop prisoner contact online form, email or contact by phone.

Problems and complaints

If you have any other problem contact Ford.

Contact Ford

Governor: Mark Drury

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

Follow Ford on Twitter/X


HMP Ford
West Sussex
BN18 0BX

See map

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

Published 11 March 2020
Last updated 12 December 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added legal visiting times and booking information

  2. Updated Governor

  3. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  4. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

  5. Updated visiting information: Testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  6. Updated rules for sending in money and gifts.

  7. Updated physical contact guidance

  8. Updated physical contact guidance

  9. Updated social visits booking line opening times.

  10. New visiting times and booking information added.

  11. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

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

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

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

  16. covid 19 update

  17. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

  19. added survey link

  20. First published.