Half of 3,700 issues in Michigan prison kitchens went unresolved by Aramark

Aramark and the Michigan Department of Corrections failed to address almost half of the approximately 3,700 issues with food safety, prisoner safety and prison security reported between March 2014 and October 2014.

aramark.mi.prisonThose findings were released in a report by Progress Michigan, a liberal group based out of Lansing, following their review of about 25,000 pages of emails between the MDOC and Aramark officials.

Lonnie Scott, director of Progress Michigan, said 3,707 issues with Aramark’s performance were reported during the eight-month period they reviewed. Of those 3,707 issues, 1,791 — 48.3 percent of those reported — were unresolved as of October 2014.

The controversial three-year, $145 million contract with Aramark was ended by mutual agreement last month. MDOC officials said the contract was terminated due to unresolvable contract issues, and not the onslaught of negative headlines about the contractor’s performance in Michigan prisons.

Trinity Services Group is currently in the process of taking over Aramark’s duties and will take full control of food service in prisons by September. The contract is set to run for three years and will cost taxpayers $158 million.

Hugh Madden, communications director at Progress Michigan, said the report shows unacceptable failures from both Aramark and the state’s contract monitors.

“I don’t know of any private restaurant that would want to put that on the door, that, hey, we solved 48 percent of the violations that were reported in our kitchens,” he said.