Michigan moves a step closer to privatizing prison food service

BY JAKE NEHER
Michigan Public Radio Network

Unions that represent prison food service workers are blasting state officials for moving to privatize those services. The state Administrative Board approved a contract with Philadelphia-based ARAMARK Corporation Monday.

Nick Ciaramitaro is with Michigan AFSCME Council 25. He said the bidding process gave ARAMARK an unfair advantage. And he questions the company’s track record with prison safety.

“There’s going to be all sorts of chaos created in the system to make a political statement rather than to do a careful and simple evaluation,” Ciaramintaro said.

But state corrections officials say they’ve done their due diligence in reviewing all options. They said the contract with ARAMARK will save the state more than 10 million dollars a year. State lawmakers already took much of that money out of the corrections budget to account for privatization.

The contract still needs to be approved by the state Civil Service Commission. But Governor Rick Snyder’s administration said it can begin implementation before that happens.

Copyright 2013, MPRN

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