HMIP Inspection of HMP Ford

The prison was inspected last in June 2106. The full reports can be read at the Ministry of Justice web site, just follow the links below. In their last report the inspectors said:

“HMP Ford is an open prison near Arundel, Sussex, that at the time of the inspection was holding just over 470 men. A new governor was appointed to the prison some two months before our inspection.

On the whole this is a good inspection report. The prison was clearly a safe, decent and respectful place where relationships between staff and prisoners were generally positive. The atmosphere of the prison was relaxed, helped no doubt by the open conditions and the expansive grounds. The details of the many positive aspects of HMP Ford  can be found in the report, and the overall impression left on a visitor to the prison was of an institution that took very seriously its responsibilities to those who had been entrusted to its care. The high  standard of health care was a clear example of this. However, there were some key areas that need attention.

It was very disappointing that for the third consecutive inspection we had to make a recommendation about the lack of proper attention being paid to diversity issues. In particular, there had been a failure to understand both the perception and the reality of disproportionate treatment of black and minority ethnic prisoners. Twenty-seven per cent of these prisoners reported feeling victimised by staff, compared with 8% of other prisoners. They also appeared  to be over-represented in the numbers of adjudications they were subject to, and under-represented in gaining access to release on temporary licence (ROTL) and to living in the more favoured residential units. The reasons behind all of this had not been properly analysed, understood and addressed, and they should be, as we have repeatedly recommended.

The residential units at Ford were grubby and poorly maintained. They were redolent of their former purpose many years ago as a military base, and needed to be refurbished to modern standards. Furthermore, the strategic oversight of resettlement activity had deteriorated since the last inspection. For a prison such as Ford, it was disappointing to find that the use of ROTL had declined to the point where there were only some 80 placements, with only 12 in paid work.

The new governor and his team are clearly committed to moving the prison forward. The progress that has been made in the past, particularly since the serious disturbance in 2011, is a credit to the prison staff and leadership. The findings of this inspection report would have been even more positive if some key recommendations that we  had made previously had been addressed and implemented.


Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM                                         July 2016

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons”


Return to Ford

 To read the full inspectors reports follow the  links below

  • HMP Ford (537.39 kB), Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Ford (6-17 June 2016)
  • HMP Ford
  • Announced full follow-up inspection of HMP Ford (13 – 17 August 2012)
  • HMP Ford
  • Announced inspection of HMP Ford (29 November – 3 December 2010)
  • HMP Ford
  • Unannounced short follow-up inspection of HMP Ford (27 – 29 October 2008)