Formerly a Fleet Air Arm station, Ford converted to an open prison in 1960. The establishment still retains the original billets from the original Fleet Air Arm base, which in the main is the composition of the living accommodation for offenders.
The residential accommodation is split into 2 main wings A & B. A wing is mainly single rooms whilst B wing are double rooms. On 1 January 2011, a major disturbance at the establishment resulted in the loss of the induction unit, prisoner mailroom, association area, gym, offices and 36 prisoner rooms, including the first night billets. Following the rebuilding of some of these areas, with induction being moved to the ‘P ‘ units, the establishment also added a new kitchen, servery and anti-dash perimeter fencing, and refurbished the visits hall.