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Prison Food Vendor Fined For Inappropriate Contact With Inmates, Menu Problems

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LANSING (WWJ) – The company that runs the kitchens in Michigan prisons is taking some heat and racking up hefty fines.

Food service giant Aramark Correctional Services has been fined $98,000 for various violations — including inappropriate contact between employees and inmates.

Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan says that is simply not acceptable.

“We did find some incidents of inappropriate touching; one issue where an Aramark employee was caught kissing a prisoner,” Marlan said.

“Our staff, and their staff too, were trained before they assumed these roles that any type of over-familiar relationship with prisoners is absolutely not appropriate and won’t be tolerated,” he added.

Marlan said other violations — such as not preparing enough food and serving some prisoners a different meal — are potentially creating unsafe conditions within the prisons.

“That’s pretty important, that prisoners receive the same quantity, same quality, and the same menu options throughout that prison,” said Marlan, “and we found incidences when that was not occurring.”

Marlan said some Aramark employees were also caught giving prisoners contraband, which poses a security risk.

The three-year contract with Aramark was supposed to save the state at least $12 million. Marlan said it’s too soon to say if the state would consider terminating the deal.

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