Prison Industrial Complex

Corporation Literally Served Inmates Trash


Credit: Shutterstock

This is about a contractor that got caught.  How many other prison contractors around the country use the same despicable practice?

Think Progress

Two weeks ago Progress Michigan uncovered emails revealing that a prison food provider served cakes nibbled on by rats to inmates. They’ve now discovered that employees from this same food vendor, Aramark, served inmates at another facility an equally unsavory meal: garbage.
In an email exchange between the company’s general manager, Sigfried Linder, and the state’s Department of Corrections, Linder admitted that prisoners at Saginaw Correctional Facility were served food that was previously thrown in the trash. “Mr. Chisolm discarded the left-overs from the line before the last half unit was in the chow hall. He then realized that there were more inmates to serve so he rinsed them off, reheated them in the oven and instructed the inmates to serve them,” read one email. “They refused, so he and Miss Gibson proceeded to serve them to the remaining inmates.”

The privately contracted food vendor, which services “healthcare institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses in 22 countries around the world,” has come under fire for serving contaminated food and engaging in gross misconduct in prison facilities statewide. After maggots and fly larvae were found near a meal-serving line, at least 150 inmates were quarantined for symptoms characteristic of the flu. One inmate sued the company for serving spoiled meat and moldy bread. In other instances, the company breached contract by simply failing to provide enough food.

Detroit Free Press also discovered that one-fifth of Aramark employees were fired for unsanctioned sexual encounters with inmates, tried to sneak in drugs, and showed up to work inebriated.

“The fact that inmates refused to serve this food, and yet an Aramark employee felt comfortable doing so, speaks volumes about the company’s corporate culture,” Progress Michigan’s executive director, Lonnie Scott, explained. “This is just the latest — and one of the most disgusting — examples of Aramark’s incompetency in our state. The public has a right to know what is really going on with this contract and it shouldn’t take thousands of dollars and FOIA’ed documents to get the truth.”
But the company, which has fed inmates dog food, worms, and scraps of food from old meals, maintains a stronghold on correctional food service in Michigan. Despite threats to terminate its contract, Gov. Rick Snyder (R)  won’t let go of the company, which claims it will save taxpayers $12-16 million. Prior to hiring Aramark, Michigan refused to partner with private food vendors that could not realistically save the state money in the long-run.

(Emphasis are mine: ks)

FBI Arrests 18 L.A. Sherriff’s Deputies in Corruption/Inmate Abuse Investigation

It’s good to read how the tables can turn on the bad apples in law enforcement…

Daily Kos

One small blow, perhaps, to the burgeoning Prison Industrial Complex. From NBC News:

Nearly 20 L.A. current and former sheriff’s deputies were expected to be arrested Monday in connection with a two-year- federal probe into corruption and inmate abuse in the Los Angeles County jail system, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said Monday.Some 18 deputies, most still active in the department, were either arrested without incident or were expected to surrender Monday to agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the sources. None of those arrested ranked higher than lieutenant.

The sources said that the deputies are alleged to have committed crimes that include use of force under color of authority and obstruction of justice. The investigation is ongoing, according to sources, but the arrests seem to culminate an investigation that included allegations that deputies tried to hide an informant who was providing information to the FBI while locked up after the deputies discovered the informant had a cell phone.…

According to the article, the informant was using his cellphone to provide the FBI with photos of the ongoing inmate abuse.

The article also says that much of the onus of these arrests will fall on L.A. Chief Sheriff Lee Baca, who is seeking a fifth term. In June, the Justice Department caught some of his deputies harassing and intimidating Blacks and Latinos in L.A.’s Antelope Valley district.

AZ review shows private prisons cost more. So legislature ends the study.

This is typical of GOP deception.  If it doesn’t fit the narrative, quash it, deny it or ignore it.

Daily Kos

If you’re a state hellbent on turning corrections over to the for-profit prison industry, what do you do when an annual survey shows that private jails are often more expensive than the old fashioned public variety? Especially if, by law, the state may contract for private prisons only if they prove to be less expensive? Simple, just eliminate that pesky study.

Buried in the $8.6 billion budget proposal passed at the state Capitol this week is a plan to “eliminate the requirement for a quality and cost review of private prison contracts.” It means there would no longer be an annual review of how private prisons

The corrections industry in Arizona is enjoying a good ride. They’ve been held harmless in the last two state budgets, while education, healthcare, and every other public service has been cut off at the knees. Along with its budget, the corrections cartel’s political power has increased. Tucson Citizen’s Cell-Out AZ has lotsa dirt, like raiding mortgage settlement funds for prisons. The industry’s biggest legislative win, of course, was SB 1070, which the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) helped craft and pass, alongside ALEC. It’s not like the incarceration industry has a financial interest or anything, since SB 1070, if implemented as written, would provide them a heckuva lot more customers.

One might ask why the legislature ended an annual review of private prisons, less than two years after three inmates escaped from the Kingman facility run by Management & Training Corporation (MTC). A nationwide manhunt ended in their capture, but not before the men, two of whom were convicted killers, hijacked an Oklahoma couple’s car and trailer in New Mexico, shot them at a rest stop and burned their bodies in the trailer. Immediately after this tragedy, there were loud calls to clean up the crappy security at Kingman — and all prisons statewide. This Arizona Republic story, titled “Arizona Prison Oversight Lacking for Private Facilities,” was typical:

[The three convicts] took advantage of lax security and faulty alarms to escape on July 30, 2010, from the Kingman prison, run by Management and Training Corp. of Centerville, Utah. The men cut their way out using tools McCluskey’s cousin and fiancee, Casslyn Welch, had tossed over the fence. Arizona Republic

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