Privatization of Michigan prison food goes sour


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The company that has been supplying Michigan’s Prisons with food for six months has been warned that if it doesn’t solve its problems its contract could be terminated.

Aramark corporation was working under a three-year, $145-million contract to provide food service to Michigan’s prisons.

The Detroit Free Press has reported that the Michigan Department of Corrections sent Aramark a letter on June 6th stating that if the problems continue the company will face more fines and possible termination of the contract.

Food service in Michigan prisons was privatized in December eliminating an estimated 370 state jobs and saving the state up to $16 million each year.

Since the privatization went into effect there have been issues reported about the service and Aramark employees.

Mel Greishaber (GREE-sai-bur) is the executive Director of the Michigan Corrections Organization. He said the problems just keep adding up, “Over 90 Aramark employees have been fired in this six months for over familiarization with prisoners, not showing up for work,” he said, “massive food substitutions, delays, food shortages, just massive problems with this Aramark corporation.”

Aramark was fined 98 thousand dollars earlier this year for food shortages and menu substitutions, but Greishaber said the problems have continued.

Greishaber said that issues with food service can easily become issues of safety in prisons, “When you mess with just a simple thing like their food. We don’t need these kinds of problems. To maintain the safety and security of the institution they need the operation to run smoothly.”

WCMU News’ calls to Aramark and the Department of Corrections have not been answered or returned.