LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder plans to end Michigan’s use of a company to feed prisoners and return to hiring state workers to handle food service.
The Republican governor made the announcement while delivering his budget proposal to lawmakers Wednesday. He says his administration and Trinity Food Services have mutually agreed to not extend the contract, which ends July 31.
“There are cost structures, a number of issues,” he said. ” I believe it’s appropriate to say the benefits of continuing on that path don’t outweigh the costs, and that we should transition back to doing it in-house. So one of the recommendations of this budget is to set aside nearly $14 million to bring back in prison food service.”
Trinity was hired in 2015 after the state terminated a $145 million contract with Aramark Correctional Services after the company came under scrutiny for unapproved menu substitutions, worker misconduct and other issues, such as workers having sex with inmates and serving food that had maggots.
The state’s initial outsourcing in 2013 led to the loss of 370 unionized state jobs replaced by lower-paid private workers.
Snyder says hiring state employees to do the work would not cost more money overall because the prison population is declining. He says the benefits of privatization do not outweigh the cost, and the experiment has not been “successful.”
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.