Corporatism, Privatization — May 11, 2017

Privatized prison food vendor employee caught having sex with an inmate. Again. And serving rotting food. Again.

by

Gov. Rick Snyder is determined to prove that privatizing critical state services is a big money saver for the state. What his spreadsheets and dashboards fail to take into account are the unseen and unbudgeted prices paid when those private for-profit groups fail to act professionally.

First it was Aramark who got busted for:

  • Running out of food
  • Making unauthorized food substitutions in violation of their contract
  • Maggots in food service areas
  • Employees having sex with prisoners
  • Serving raw or under-cooked meat to inmates
  • Falsifying food storage and safety records
  • Smuggling weed, cocaine, and heroin to prisoners
  • An employee soliciting an inmate to murder another inmate

Then, they got fired and replaced with Trinity, a group that’s having problems of its own.

And today, we have “sex with an inmate” to add to their list, as well:

A prison food worker at a Jackson-area prison was fired Wednesday after she and am inmate were caught having sex in the kitchen, a Corrections Department spokesman said Thursday.

The incident happened shortly before 7 p.m., just after dinner at the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center, where new inmates are sent before they are assigned to a longer-term prison.

The allegation is that she was observed having sex with a prisoner,” who worked in the kitchen, department spokesman Chris Gautz said.

The Trinity Services Group worker was fired for “over-familiarity,” and the Michigan State Police were notified, he said.

And then, there’s this:

Food problems continue to plague Michigan prisons in 2017 after Gov. Rick Snyder replaced a previous private vendor over similar issues, state documents show.

Inmates at the Upper Peninsula Kinross Correctional Facility picked through “maggot infested potatoes” to find still-intact spuds for prison meals, according to documents the Lansing-based liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan obtained from the Michigan Department of Corrections through an open records request.

Prison staff noted an “overwhelming stench” from the rotten potatoes and “yellowish/white liquid seeping from the bags” as they attempted to unload the produce in preparation for prisoners’ meals, the documents show.

The report shows that the potatoes were discovered less than two months before a costly riot broke out amid prisoners’ complaints about food quality.

I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it over and over and over again: privatization is a failed model. Private corporations driven by a profit model will ALWAYS cut corners to maximize profit for their owners and shareholders. Period. Full stop. It’s an incentive built in to the system. You don’t have to be an economist to understand that.

End this now, Gov. Snyder. You can’t make this better. And all it’s going to take is a single lawsuit to flush all that money you’re supposedly saving us right down the drain.

  • Laurie Tata

    Not to mention the cost of the group of employees set up to supervise Trinity employees & make sure they’re fulfilling the terms of their contract. It would have not only been cheaper to retain state employees to do this job, but it would have saved the governor the bad press.

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