Politics & Government
3:31 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Michigan won't privatize prisons further

Michigan will not privatize nearly $350 million in prisoner health care and food costs, keeping intact nearly 1,700 state workers' jobs.

State Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan told The Associated Press on Friday that none of three contracts out for bid would have achieved the necessary 5 percent savings as required by state rules.

Bidding out more of the prison health system could have been the largest privatization of state government services in Michigan history.

State officials also decided not to contract with companies to handle inmates' mental health care or meals.

The news will be welcome to psychologists, nurses and others who work in 32 Michigan prisons. The decision may anger Republican lawmakers demanding savings in the $2 billion corrections budget.