State Reps. Julie Calley and Thomas Albert today praised Gov. Rick Snyder’s plans to end privatized food service at Michigan’s state prisons, returning the duties of preparing food to state workers.
Ionia County corrections facilities will hire new workers to complete the transition.
Today during his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, Snyder announced he plans to invest $13.7 million in the Department of Corrections (DOC) to place prison food responsibilities under state employees. DOC officials announced that it will remove Trinity Services Group this summer and hire 350 state employees to do the work.
“The move to privatize food services has proved to be a failure,” said Albert, of Lowell. “I am very supportive of the governor’s decision to place public safety and food quality ahead of cost savings.”
Calley, of Portland, said people who worked in the prison kitchens prior to privatization did a remarkable job, and she is pleased to see the duties will revert to local residents.
“Privatization caused a number of challenges,” Calley said. “Poor food service adversely affected inmates’ behavior and resulted in additional burdens for our officers to mitigate. It’s time to make a change.”
Snyder said the $13.7 million investment will be offset by $18.8 million saved when the West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon is shut down because of a declining prisoner population.