Thursday, October 02, 2014

Exposing underbelly of privatized prison food

The Detroit Free Press has been publishing a terrific series of stories about Aramark, a private vendor of prison food and commissaries which has operated at several Texas jails. See:
See also related Grits coverage from last year: "Private food vendor allegedly skimped on portions, switched to substandard ingredients, billed for unserved food."


FleaStiff said...

Food service workers are common, low-class, low pay positions and would be expected to do these things and the contractor should not be held responsible for the quality of the hiring pool, their lack of intelligence or lack of diligence.

Anonymous said...

State Workers

Lansing — More state workers have been dismissed for trying to smuggle drugs into prisons than employees from food contractor
Aramark Correctional Services, according to information released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Since Jan. 1, 2012, 10 state employees have lost their jobs for trying to smuggle contraband into state prisons, Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan said. It compares with two Aramark food services employees who have been accused of smuggling drugs into the state’s prisons.

From The Detroit News SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

Anonymous said...

There are more state employees than private contractors. With low pay / no benefit workers you can expect a higher level of corruption. The Mineral Wells prison is a classic example. This facility housed some of the lowest level offenders and lead the state in contraband thanks to Corrections Corportation of America management. Being #1 in Texas carries a big title since there were over 111 state prisons at the time.

Anonymous said...

Understand Aramark contract a couple of years ago was less than a dollar a day per prisoner at the Harris County jail.

Thomas Hobbes said...

FleaStiff: Just one question. Why?

Just because something may be expected doesn't make it acceptable, and there is no reason the contractor shouldn't be held responsible. The jurisdiction entered into an agreement with the contractor, not the contractor's employees.

Anonymous said...

From the inside, the food is better at a TDCJ organic facility, the food at Bartlett State Jail(CCA)is near starvation level. Unless you can supplement your diet with significant commissary, expect to loose a lot of weight.

Anonymous said...

Those failed Progams like SAFP at Henley do not even allow them to buy comissary the first 45 days. They starve the offenders there as torture. 2 meals a day on the weekend that consist of mystery meat or eggs and potatos mixed together that looks and taste like vomint. It is probaly unconstitutional but I am sure the people running Plane State and Henley have all the right excuses.

Anonymous said...

@8:08, @7:52 ...maybe the poor quality food, starvation size portions are intended to force inmates to pay rape rates for commissary? Lots and Lots of money being made off commissary with no tracking of the revenue and how it is being spent.

Anonymous said...

Working in Texas prisons for 14 years, both private and state-run, I guarantee you that 99% of the offenders gain weight. Unintentional, diet-caused weight loss is exceedingly rare. Most obtain commissary food by hook or by crook, and it is uniformly unhealthy.

I'm not saying the food is good, but offenders are not starving.

Prison Doc

FleaStiff said...

Commissaries should be banned as inappropriately providing a prisoner with a choice of action that will provide him with a sense of individuality or control.

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