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Lawmakers call for health departments to inspect prison kitchens

Prison fence barbed wire
Kevin Rosseel
Michigan ranks fourth in the nation for prisoner rehabilitation

Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the state Capitol say it’s time for prison kitchens to be inspected by local health agencies. That’s after the most recent instance of maggots found in a corrections food service facility.


Prison kitchens are exempt from local health inspections. 


State Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Escanaba, says that no longer makes sense since prison food services were privatized in 2013.

“I suppose one could make a legitimate argument for it when the state was running the kitchens, but you can’t make a legitimate argument for when the state’s not.”

State Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, says he’s not a fan of the private contract to provide prison food services. But he says the point of this legislation is to make the system work better.

“The administration has been clear that they’re committed to make this contract work. And so this is a tool that I think can be used to that advantage.”

There have been multiple instances of maggots found in prison food facilities and other issues since Aramark Correctional Services won the contract. An Aramark spokeswoman says the company welcomes the discussion.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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