aramark http://michiganradio.org en A closer look at Aramark and the troubles with privatization in prisons http://michiganradio.org/post/closer-look-aramark-and-troubles-privatization-prisons <p></p><p></p><p>Sex with inmates - maggots in the food - smuggling drugs to inmates - undercooked or spoiled food.</p><p>When is enough "enough" with Aramark, the food service company hired seven months ago to feed inmates in Michigan prisons?</p><p>The privatization was supposed to save the state more than $12 million a year. But it's been a Pandora's box of troubles for state prison officials ever since Aramark took over last December.</p><p>Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau joined us today.&nbsp;<span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.5; background-color: transparent;">He has reported on all the problems associated with the Aramark contract. Egan </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">said that so far, things are not getting any better.</span></p><p></p><p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:53:04 +0000 Stateside Staff 18417 at http://michiganradio.org A closer look at Aramark and the troubles with privatization in prisons How are leaders in Lansing reacting to Aramark problems? http://michiganradio.org/post/how-are-leaders-lansing-reacting-aramark-problems <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Every week, we take a look at what’s happening in Michigan politics with Susan </span>Demas<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken </span>Sikkema<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.</span></p><p>It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Aramark, the company that provides food services for Michigan prisons, which has come under a lot of criticism.</p><p>Prisons have complained of food shortages and maggots have been found in prison kitchens. There have also been a number of issues with Aramark employees smuggling contraband into prisons and just this week, four&nbsp;Aramark staffers were fired for having inappropriate contact with prisoners.</p><p>According to Demas, when the state of Michigan decided to privatize the food services in prisons, the objective of the governor and the Legislature was to save money and increase efficiency, but so far it has been marred with problems.</p><p>Meanwhile, Sikkema explains that when the initial discussions were taking place about the most effective ways to save money, privatization was more of a priority for certain legislators, and not necessarily that of the Department of Corrections. Sikkema elaborates that the operational costs have gone up significantly over the past several decades, and as a result, legislators have called for some form of privatization to scale back the spending.</p><p>After issues began to surface with Aramark following the contract, Demas asserts that the response of the state has been keeping tabs and trying to correct the mistakes, but so far, there has been no push to try and eliminate the contract.</p><p>“I do think it clearly raises a question, whether the savings, which are estimated to between $12 to $16 million a year in a $2 billion budget, are worth the problems that they’ve encountered: food issues, sanitation issues, high turnover of staff, sexual misconduct, smuggling of contraband like marijuana into the prisons; I don’t see the contract surviving if these problems continue” says Sikkema.</p><p><em>Omar Saadeh - Michigan Radio Newsroom</em></p><p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:19:17 +0000 Jennifer White 18413 at http://michiganradio.org How are leaders in Lansing reacting to Aramark problems? You get what you pay when hiring private company for Michigan prisons: embarrassing failures http://michiganradio.org/post/you-get-what-you-pay-when-hiring-private-company-michigan-prisons-embarrassing-failures <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">I’d like to start the week with a thought that some will consider heresy: sometimes, privatization just doesn’t work.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">There are some functions and responsibilities that government handles better.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">American is gung-ho for privatization these days, both to save money, and because government at all levels has become something we love to hate.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Thanks to years of being told that government is bad, corrupt, expensive and inefficient, we are happy to reduce its size.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Well, we may not be quite ready to hand the nuclear arsenal over to an assets management firm, but apart from that, anything goes. And frankly, there are some things that probably should be privatized.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Garbage collection, for example.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">But Michigan decided last year to privatize food service in our prisons, and so far, it has been a highly embarrassing failure.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140713/NEWS06/307130099">The <em>Detroit Free Press</em></a> used the state Freedom of Information Act to find out what’s happened since the state contracted with a private food services company, Aramark Correctional Services of Pennsylvania.</span></p><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:52:17 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 18358 at http://michiganradio.org You get what you pay when hiring private company for Michigan prisons: embarrassing failures Problems pile up for Jackson-area prison as state puts it under quarantine http://michiganradio.org/post/problems-pile-jackson-area-prison-state-puts-it-under-quarantine <p>Problems keep piling up at Parnall Correctional Facility near Jackson.</p><p></p><p>Last week, maggots were found on the serving line in the prison's cafeteria.</p><p></p><p>Over the weekend, inmates started getting sick with a stomach virus.</p><p>And the problems have gotten worse. Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan says the number of sick prisoners is now up to 150, and the prison's been put under quarantine.</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 21:02:49 +0000 Sarah Hulett 18263 at http://michiganradio.org Problems pile up for Jackson-area prison as state puts it under quarantine Aramark contract "up in the air" after more maggots found in prison food http://michiganradio.org/post/aramark-contract-air-after-more-maggots-found-prison-food <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Aramark Correctional Services, the private company that provides food to Michigan prisons, is in trouble again.</span></p><p>Inmates at the Charles Egeler Reception &amp; Guidance Center in Jackson&nbsp;<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140702/NEWS06/307020165/prison-food-maggots-aramark">found maggots while peeling potatoes Tuesday morning</a>.</p><p>Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan says the warden was notified, and quickly moved to dispose of all the potatoes.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18252 at http://michiganradio.org Aramark contract "up in the air" after more maggots found in prison food Michigan puts prison food service company prisoners on notice: Get it together ... or else http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-puts-prison-food-service-company-prisoners-notice-get-it-together-or-else <p>Michigan’s Department of Corrections says problems with Aramark, the company that provides inmates their meals, have the potential to compromise safety and security in the state's prisons.</p><p>Food service was privatized at Michigan’s 31 prisons in December, saving roughly $16 million a year.</p><p>“Literally from a Saturday to a Sunday it transitioned to 360 contractor workers who, in many cases, had never been inside a correctional facility,” Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said. “So we expected some problems, we expected some issues.”</p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 09:56:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 18137 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan puts prison food service company prisoners on notice: Get it together ... or else Michigan's governor pushing ahead with privatized prison food http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-governor-pushing-ahead-privatized-prison-food <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says he plans to push ahead with plans to privatize food service for the state's 45,000 prison inmates under a proposed $145 million, 3-year contract.<br><br>Snyder tells the Detroit Free Press that he'll consider objections from Republican state Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba and unionized prison employees and others but won't let them block the process.<br><br>The State Administrative Board plans to consider the contract Tuesday with Aramark Correctional Services of Philadelphia. The contract would eliminate 370 Corrections Department jobs.<br> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 00:23:34 +0000 The Associated Press 14555 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's governor pushing ahead with privatized prison food