The Craig Fahle Show

Prison Food Contract In Jeopardy

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Photo courtesy of Freep

Michigan Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta joins Craig to discuss the most recent food safety issue at a Michigan prison and how the incident could impact the state's contract with prison food supplier Aramark.

After maggots were found for a second time at a Michigan prison this week, Pluta explains how Aramark Correctional Services could be packing up and leaving all state prisons as a result. This latest incident took place Tuesday at the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson.

In the next couple of weeks the state will make a decision about the contract, and Pluta explains that Aramark could potentially walk off in the middle of a shift. While the corrections budget has been a target of criticism for years, the cost driver in Michigan prisons is not food services.

The state’s prison costs are continuing to increase, because “for the past couple of decades, we’ve passed tougher sentencing laws and that means more people are being incarcerated,” Pluta says.
There are also issues surrounding inappropriate relations between inmates and some Aramark workers.

Currently, the state applies the same rules to servers as corrections officers, and now the administration may change their official stance as a result of these instances that have come to light, Pluta says.

A third-party auditor is visiting facilities throughout the state to inspect sanitation standards, and now we’ll wait to see if Snyder does in fact terminate the 3-year, $145 million contract with the Philadelphia-based food giant.

--Annamarie Sysling