Prison food service moves step closer to privatization

Source: Paul Egan, Lansing State Journal, September 24, 2013

A state administrative committee gave approval Tuesday to a three-year, $145-million contract with a prison food contractor that is expected to eliminate about 370 state government jobs. The recommended approval from the finance and claims committee of the contract with Aramark Correctional Services of Pennsylvania is expected to go to the full State Administrative Board for approval on Monday…

Michigan won’t privatize prisons further, report says
Source: David Eggert, Associated Press, March 1, 2013

Michigan will not privatize nearly $350 million in prisoner health care and food costs, keeping intact nearly 1,700 state workers’ jobs, a state official told the Associated Press today. State Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said none of three contracts out for bid would have achieved the necessary 5% savings as required by state rules. State officials also decided not to contract with companies to handle inmates’ mental health care or meals….With state workers now paying 4% toward future pension benefits and retiree health care being eliminated for new hires, Marlan said, private companies cannot show as much savings even though they may pay workers less. Michigan also began pre-paying employees’ future health care liabilities….

Prison employees in Michigan fight against privatization
Source: Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio, September 10, 2012

A public employees’ union says it will offer a counter-proposal if the state goes ahead with plans to privatize prison health care….

Privatization plan for prisons moves ahead
Source: Karen Bouffard, Detroit News, July 21, 2012

The state Department of Corrections is moving forward with privatizing nearly $500 million in services following Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature in late June on new laws needed to bid the jobs out.

The department will try to shave its $1.9 billion budget by bidding out medical and mental health services, including the Woodlands facility for mentally ill inmates in Whitmore Lake, which cost more than $334 million to run annually.

Bids will be taken for the $67.2 million prison food service program; privatization of 1,750 prison beds, which cost the state about $57.5 million annually; and the Special Alternative Incarceration Program, a boot camp for men and women in Chelsea that costs $10.1 million annually. An estimate of the state’s costs was not available for the electronic medical records system, which the state also will bid out.

Michigan seeks bids for prison medical services
Source: Associated Press, July 20, 2012

Prison firm GEO has troubled record / Company may get Michigan prisoners if state bill passes
Source: Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press, May 12, 2012

Guest commentary: Don’t buy the push to privatize Michigan’s prisons
Source: Sen Bert Johnson, Detroit Free Press, May 14, 2012

Michigan Senate approves prison privatization plan
Source: Associated Press, March 07, 2012

Forum: Private prisons a risky gamble
Source: Kevin McDaniel, Record Eagle, March 9, 2012

Michigan lawmakers considering use of private prison contractors to save money
Source: Melissa Anders,, February 22, 2012

Lawmakers are considering bills that could potentially allow a shuttered youth prison near Lake County’s Baldwin to reopen and house Michigan inmates of any age.

The legislation doesn’t necessarily mean that would happen. But it opens up the opportunity for facility operator The GEO Group Inc. — or any other private corrections company — to competitively bid on contracts for housing Michigan inmates as long as it saves the state a certain amount of money.

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