Tag Archives: Kentucky

Privatizing food service could trigger new costs, corrections workers say / Low quality Aramark food linked to riot in Kentucky

Source: Eartha Jane Melzer, Michigan Messenger, May 24, 2011

The Republican plan to privatize food service in the state prisons will increase the odds of dangerous and costly violence, corrections workers warn….For years the Michigan Dept. of Corrections has objected to proposals to privatize food service, arguing that private companies skimp on nutrition, which is counterproductive for an institution also tasked with supplying heath care to inmates. Michigan spends less than three dollars a day to feed each inmate and past efforts to privatize have resulted in more costs rather than savings….

…In Kentucky a chow hall did go up in flames after the state privatized food service….Officials have estimated it will cost $18.8 million to rebuild….Florida also had problems with privatizing food service and with Aramark….A 2007 audit by the Florida Dept. of Corrections Office of the Inspector General found that fewer inmates ate the meals after Aramark took over food service, creating a windfall for the company which continued to collect payments for feeding the entire prison population….Aramark has spent more that half a million dollars on lobbying in Michigan since 2007, according to filings with the Secretary of State.

Editorial: Pike water business smells funny, merits more scrutiny

Source: Lexington Herald-Leader, February 2, 2011

An audit report on the Mountain Water District in Pike County should serve as another cautionary tale about the risks involved in privatizing public services.

And not just the risk of the financial losses the district suffered when its contract with a private company, Utility Management Group, resulted in what the audit report called “costly management fees and conflicts of interest.”

Of equal concern is the loss of transparency and public accountability.

For instance, UMG refused to provide the auditor’s office with certain financial records, even though state law gives the auditor the authority to examine the management of “public works” in which the state has any financial interest. Mountain Water is such a public work and is partially funded by the state.

Auditor Crit Luallen’s office ran into similar stonewalling in recent reviews of Aramark’s contract with the Department of Corrections and Passport’s contract for managing Medicaid services in the Louisville area.
See also:
2010 Passport Health Plan Report
2010 University Medical Center Report

State Wants Better Food for Inmates

 Source: wtvq.com (KY)  01/21/2010

One Kentucky State Representative has introduced a bill to improve the quality and quantity of the food at all of the state’s prison, but critics say it’s costly and unnecessary. This was the scene last August when inmates rioted at Northpoint Prison near Danville. State Rep. Brent Yonts believes one of the main causes for this uprising was food.

Right now, a private company, Aramark, provides the inmates meals, so he is proposing a bill that would put the state back in control.

Guard: Inmates rioted over food

Source: By Stephenie Steitzer, The Courier-Journal (KY), November 6, 2009

 

A Northpoint Training Center corrections officer testified Friday that inmates rioted at the prison in August because they weren’t being fed enough and the food they did receive was of poor quality.

… The department has said it is satisfied with the quality of food provided to inmates by Aramark Services, a private food service company in Pennsylvania.

….. Hughes was among about 25 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who appeared at Friday’s hearing. AFSCME officials are pushing the state to improve safety measures for corrections officers. Hughes and Yonts testified that food portions are often small and that about 20 percent of the inmates can’t afford to buy food from the inmate canteen to supplement what they get in the cafeteria.

Audit: No sign of savings on state Medicaid

Source: By Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal (KY), Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A state audit found no evidence of savings in the state Medicaid program promised by the administration of former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who claimed Medicaid reform as one of his top accomplishments in his failed re-election bid.

…… Luallen, a Democrat, said her office waited until after the Nov. 6 election to release the audit so it would not become an issue in the governor’s race.

……. Medicaid spends about $300 million a year on three private contractors to process claims, manage information, operate a call system for members and operate its prescription drug program. But until recently they operated with little oversight or accountability.

In July, Medicaid hired an outside company, Accenture, to monitor the three other outside contractors — even though Texas fired that company last year for poor performance on a contract.

…….. State Sen. Ernesto Scorsone, a Lexington Democrat on the Health and Welfare Committee, said he’s concerned about the growth in outside contractors for the Medicaid program listed in the audit report.

“I think the only winners are the outside vendors who have made money off the state,” he said.

New Albany gets four trash bids / City hopes to save through privatization

Source: The Courier-Journal (KY), Wednesday, November 30, 2005

An effort to find a new garbage hauler in New Albany has drawn four bidders, including the union that represents the city’s existing sanitation workers. A decision on who will serve the city’s 11,000 trash customers isn’t expected for two weeks. The bids submitted yesterday to the city’s Board of Public Works show a wide range of proposed fees, from $11.56 a month to $17.63 a month per household. The current rate is $13.75. ….. The union’s proposal would cost $16.75 a month per household. It would include the creation of a solid-waste transfer station at 37 W. Fifth St. Roger Poer, an accountant with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said the union workers also are more flexible than many private companies and are prepared to pick up random items such as tires when needed.

(UB)