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New head of MDOC very familiar with contractor problems

MDOC Director Heidi Washington
Gov. Rick Snyder

The warden of one of the prisons found to have maggots in its food last year will take over as director of the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Heidi Washington says she’ll review the department’s controversial contract with the private food service provider Aramark.

“I run one of the more complex facilities in the state, and I have had some issues that are pretty well-known,” Washington said. “But those are from my experience as a facility warden. When I become director, I’ll be looking globally across the whole department.”

Washington says she’ll focus on making sure people who are released from prison don’t return.

“Of course, the goal is to make sure we have the right people in prison and that, while they’re there, we are doing the absolute best job we can to provide them with the tools necessary to not come back,” she said.

Current Corrections Director Dan Heyns will step down in late June to take another position in the Snyder Administration.