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Michigan Fires For-Profit Food Vendor for Prisons

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Author: dianeravitch

Privatization often turns out to cost more and provide worse service than public sector workers. Michigan just fired Aramark, which had a three-year contract worth $145 million.

The Eclectablog website credited the persistence of Progress Michigan:

“While the Detroit Free Press takes a victory lap for this development, the true heroes were Progress Michigan who tenaciously kept the story in the news including spending the money needed to procure thousands of pages of documents through Freedom of Information Act requests.”

Thanks to Progress Muchigan but thanks to the Detroit Free Press too.

The Detroit Free Press reported:

“A transition will begin July 29 and is expected to be concluded on Sept. 9 — what would have been three months shy of the two-year anniversary of Aramark’s three-year, $145-million contract with the state of Michigan.

“The Free Press, using the Freedom of Information Act and other sources, has documented a wide range of problems with the prison food service since Aramark took over the contract, replacing 370 state employees. Issues have ranged from meal shortages to maggots in the kitchen, to smuggling of drugs and other contraband by Aramark employees, to Aramark workers engaging in sex acts with prisoners. […]

“Close to 200 Aramark workers have been terminated and banned from prison property for a range of transgressions, including allegedly attempting to hire an inmate to have another inmate assaulted.”

The state has signed a new contract with another private company, Trinity Services Group, for $158 million over three years. Keep your eyes open.

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