November 24, 2014


State prisons privatize meal service

COLUMBUS — Ohio is turning over the feeding of its approximately 50,000 prison inmates to a private company in an attempt to save $14 million annually in the face of looming budget deficits, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced Friday.
Philadelphia-based Aramark won the two-year contract with a bid to spend about $3.61 per day per inmate, the state said.
The announcement came almost exactly two years after Gov. John Kasich signed a bill into law meant to reduce the prison population to save millions. Instead, the state says the numbers are growing beyond its own estimates, one of several reasons it’s looking for new savings.
The state could house as many as 52,100 inmates by the end of the next two year budget cycle in June 2015, JoEllen Smith, a Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman, said Friday. That’s 1,200 above projections.
That’s also several thousand inmates above figures estimated by the state in 2011 as the overhaul law was being debated. That estimate said Ohio would house as few as 47,000 by inmates by 2015 if the bill passed.
The prison system is trying to figure out why the population is growing in spite of the law and what can be done about it, Smith said.

  • JoAnn Hullman Porter

    This is not good. These people have to be fed and when the state shrugs responsibilty the tax payers suffer because then corners are cut inwhich no one knows about except those that suffer. Also i want to ask why are we planning on so many people going to prison? Are we encouraging new recurits for keeping this Industry going strong? while looking at the cost of keeping an inmate How about looking at the profits those inmates generate all at the same time? And…. is the things available ( food, clothing, PHONE calls and stuff that loved ones send) Americian made?

  • Phil Blank

    Isn’t that the same company that makes-up the meals for the airline industry?

  • onesears

    go back to bread and water..then we won’t have to worry about death row inmates saying they are to fat to die..

  • Bob Owens

    Look at what’s happening in Conneaut.

  • JoAnn Hullman Porter

    The prison system has a job to rehab these people. they need to work on releasing them in a manner where they came become working class citizens. not goverment burdens. There isnt much oppertunity for these people to learn change or even how to become productive citizens…. now we are going to starve them? so they can sit cheaply on our tax dollars and then we are going to release them onto our welfare system.. thus they stay on our tax dollars. this doesnt sound like “a plan” to me. what about Ohio farmers how to they benifit from this privateislation? They dont as a matter of in the long run The tax payers of Ohio dont either, because an ohio inmate is realed to the foodstamp program. which is fine but… no job leads??? doesnt make much sense to me.

  • Joe Sandor

    The replies here have gone from bad to worse. This is a story about the state saving money. It has been reduced to arguments of union staff being laid-off causing safety problems to starving the prisoners. PEOPLE, GET REAL. No where does it say there is a safety issue. No where does it say prisoners are to be fed less. These are all assumptions made by the readers. And, by readers who are not involved in the process. If a GIANT company can provide food service at a lower price, why not use them. Aramark is THE largest provider of food services (cafeterias, vending, catered meals) in the USA. We have had them do our company cafeteria for years for five different plants and corporate headquarters, and with no complaints. So, chill and enjoy the tax savings.

    • Michael A. Figueroa

      A little FYI for ya, Joe: This has nothing to do with it being union or non-union, it has to do with staff safety being sacrificed in order to save a few meager dollars in salary and benefits. The wages that will be paid will pale in comparison to what the state employees make. The result will be worker who don’t care and a high turnover of those workers, also, employees at prisons who are paid peanuts are more succeptable to corruption, which creates a safety issue and contributes to the turn-over rate. You cannot possibly compare your little company cafeteria to a prison dining hall that (at GCI) feeds around 1,700 inmates three times a day.

    • hottamomma

      will it save us taxes or will the big wigs just pocket what they save?

  • grannyof6

    Let the prison riots begin!! What are they thinking? “ARAMARK” is the worst, how can you feed a person any person for “about $3.61″ a day? My dog eats better than that. Yes, these people are in prison and they can turn vicious in an instant, go ahead and feed them this garbage and see what happens to the staff.

    • Melissa Merrill Snyder

      Gof6, Feeding people on a large scale is easier to do on a budget. When I was feeding 6 on a regular basis, I was doing it for about 2.50 per person, per day. Even with just my hubby and I, I spend about $4-5 per person, per day,. mostly because I have dietary restrictions that prevent me from spending less and I can’t buy in bulk because we can’t eat it before it spoils.

      • Lisa

        Oh my GOD!! How did this turn into “you and your problems??”

    • Bob Sweatt

      Your dog should eat better then a prisoner. Your dog didn’t do anything to break the law.

  • hottamomma

    bread and water will be enough. instead of worrying about food they need to worry about rehab programs in the prisons. cause as far as i can tell not to many come our rehabbed