Michigan fines Aramark $200,000 more for poor prison foodservice

Although the management company was fined, Gov. Rick Snyder says there is no plan to cancel Aramark’s contract.

LANSING, Mich.—The state will fine Aramark an additional $200,000 and upgrade monitoring of its prison food service, but has no plans to cancel the controversial contract, Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday.

Snyder said in a news release that while there have been “unacceptable” errors in connection with the prison food contract, not all of them have been the fault of Aramark Correctional Services.

Mel Grieshaber, executive director of the Michigan Corrections Organization union representing correctional officers, who had called on Snyder to cancel the contract, said the fine is “a slap on the wrist.”

“It’s nothing — it’s peanuts,” said Grieshaber, who questioned what errors by the state Snyder was referencing.

Snyder said that while Aramark will be fined and required to improve its training and staffing, the state will “establish a system of independent contract monitors, review the DOC (Department of Corrections) warehousing system, and work with Aramark to establish a set of mutually agreed performance metrics to be used to objectively measure Aramark’s performance on a monthly basis.”

Friday’s fine follows a series of reports in the Free Press documenting repeated problems with meal shortages, lack of cleanliness including maggots in and around food, and Aramark workers smuggling contraband, engaging in sex acts with inmates or otherwise getting too friendly with them, creating security issues.

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