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Aramark Gets Canned

Michigan Cancels Contract with Aramark 2 Years Early

There are countless reasons to avoid jail. Aside from the costs involved when you lose your job because you will be unable to show up for months on end, there is the issue of your family. A parent who is sent to jail has to worry about what will happen to their children while they are behind bars. And if they left a spouse or partner behind, will that person cope without them? Or even be there for them when they get out?

But even if you put all of those outside concerns aside, there are a host of other issues for the person who is behind bars to worry about. Issues that they will have to deal with every day while locked up. And as a recent article in Detroit’s Metro Times reveals, one of the biggest issues has been the food.

The article, entitled “What it’s actually like to eat the food in Oakland County Jail – Mystery meat, bologna soup and maggots”, is thought provoking and interesting. But it’s also rather horrifying. Written by an inmate who published it (wisely) under a pen name to avoid any backlash, it tells the story of perpetual hunger, weight loss that would leave a bariatric surgery patient jealous, and disgust. Heavy on the disgust. Seriously.

The article details the writer’s experiences behind bars in the Oakland County Jail, where he says they actually have it better than many other jails in the state. “A convincing argument can be made that jail food should be pretty gross,” he states, “but what it shouldn’t be is rotten, maggot-infested, pulled out of the garbage, or gnawed on by rats.” We couldn’t agree more.

Courtesy of Michigan’s three year, $145 million contract with Aramark, prison and jail food around the state took a turn for the worse one year ago when Aramark took over. The news abounded with stories of food fed to prisoners that left many sick with food poisoning. Food that had been pulled from the garbage. Food that was obviously rotten. Or decorated with rodent teeth marks. Or moldy. Food that should never be fed to humans- in jail or out of jail.

But the good news for prisoners all over the state, is that this is coming to an end. Only one year into the contract, Michigan has terminated their relationship with the company.  An agreement which Governor Rick Snyder says was entirely mutual. Apparently the termination comes after Aramark and the state were unable to agree on issues pertaining to billing and unauthorized meal substitutions.

Trinity Services Group, based out of Orlando Florida, will take over in the next few months where Aramark left off. A three-year, $158 million contract has been signed, allowing Trinity to assume the role that Aramark has played in feeding Michigan’s prisoners for the last year. Here’s hoping that Trinity will do a better job than their predecessors. And that Michigan’s prison population can say goodbye to constant hunger, food poisoning, and the horror of rotten food.

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