Ohio ACLU Calls On State To End Private Prison Food Contract

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is calling on the state’s Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to end its contract with the private company that provides foods to Ohio’s prisons.

The ACLU’s Mike Brickner said the food company, Aramark, has a pattern of problems.

"Unfortunately the most recent report of maggots being found in prison food supplied by Aramark is nothing new," Brickner said. "This is been months of documented problems with Aramark since the prison food services were privatized here in Ohio.

"Just in April, the state levied 142,000 dollars worth of fines against Aramark because they had fallen short of quality levels and have operational challenges that were unacceptable."

Brickner said his organization isn’t ruling out any options, including a possible lawsuit, if the state doesn’t take action.

In a written statement, Jo Ellen Smith with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections said they food safety very seriously.

She said the department has made its concerns clear to Aramark and adds the company is taking steps to correct the problems, including plans to bring in a third party company to review food sanitation and preparations at the prisons.