1,000 Ohio Inmates Dump Their Lunches Over Maggot Infestation

Written by Nicole Flatow

Since Michigan turned over food services at its prisons to a private contractor in December, the state has seen a spate of maggot infestations in and around prison food, outbreaks of food poisoning and meal shortages. In Ohio this week, inmates facing the second maggott infestation this year at their facility dumped their lunch trays in the garbage en masse in protest.

The mother of one of the inmates at Ohio Reformatory for Women reported the protest to the local ABC affiliate, telling the news outlet, “People make mistakes, it doesn’t mean you have to be treated like a dog.”

In both states, the problems have come since they turned over their food services to private contractor Aramark. In the latest in a series of moves toward privatization of prison services, Michigan signed the three-year, $145 million contract with Aramark last year. The contract displaced some 370 prison workers, according to the Detroit Free Press, and the company pays workers about half as much as the state had been paying its employees for food service.

Aramark was fined $98,000 in March for violations related to food substitutions and workers getting too friendly with inmates. In video footage, several staff members were seen kissing and inappropriately touching inmates. More than 80 Aramark employees have been fired and banned from prison properties over these and other infractions. The firm has also been charged with lax security that has allowed knives and other contraband to enter the prison through the food service. And in Ohio, state officials say they’ve already fined the company more than $270,000.

Even. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) told reporters in July that the maggot infestations were “unacceptable” and that he would consider incidents like this when mulling whether to terminate Aramark’s 3-year contract with the state Department of Corrections.

According to MLive columnist Steve Miller, “the state almost shelved the idea of privatizing food service for the state’s prisons when it determined that its savings would not be enough to justify it. At the last minute, though, several Republican lawmakers insisted that the deal be made.”

In 2009, Aramark terminated its relationship with Florida’s prisons after six years of disputes and fines by the state.

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Christine C.
Chandra C3 years ago

I agree with Briony C.

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan H3 years ago


Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa3 years ago

Thank you

Jane H.
Jane H3 years ago

There is a prohibition in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution which says there shall be no cruel and unusual punishment for those who's freedom has been taken away. Given food with maggots in it seems unusual to me!

Briony C.
Briony C3 years ago

People who say the inmates deserve the maggoty food or words to that effect are missing the point. It is the law and duty of Aramark to produce food that conforms with healthy and safety standards. If they don't, they must pay the penalty. If they keep breaking standards, they should be closed down. Who they serve it to is beside the point.

Marianne C.
Marianne C3 years ago

And this privatization of services works so well in prisons, the Republican right wing wants to use it in schools.

I'm sure our future would be safe in the hands of children who were fed such a diet. They'd probably want revenge so badly they'd turn us ALL into Soylent Green!

Angela Roquemore
Angela Roquemore3 years ago

Luna S.: Profanity is uncalled for.

Greg K.: You're disgusting.

Robert V.: WTFingHellfireanddamnation does homosexuality have to do with maggoty food?

Bill C.: That's not funny.

Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm3 years ago

HAHAHAAHAHAAHAH and susan t wonders why people dont like her. Half the people in jail at any given time havent been to trial yet. Some are in for traffic offenses. some are in for smoking a joint. They arent all careeer criminals.
The point of this article to to point out that for profit prisons are FAILURES…..they operate STRICTLY for their OWN benefit and profit. And what a surprise…….in the poorest state in the union right now. Where the people are the poorest because there was a MASSIVE HUGE exodus of jobs therby making the citizens of the state almost overnight street people.
And the corporation that caused it all is already in trouble. ALL the people who blamed the LIBERAL policies of the state for the failure of GM etc are shown to be blind parrots.
GM is again in trouble for building substandard crap like they always have……and a corprorate climate that promotes same.

Thats neither her not there though. THis INSANE thirst our country has for VENGANCE and making everyone PAY for not being like them needs to DIE!!! Peoople make mistakes…..people get drunk… I am sure people like Susan NEVER make mistakes though.
THis isnt the first time they have been caught serving maggot infested food. If they cant provide real food they should lose their contract. THEY are a food provider…..not a judge and jury dishing out punishment.

Ben Oscarsito
Ben O3 years ago

Anyone here that would eat maggot infested food...???

Roberta G.
Roberta G3 years ago

Susan T...continued...you said "Don't break the law. then you don't go to jail"

I have news for you. Plenty of people break the law, but don't go to jail because they are rich, of the "proper" race, or rich CEO's who used their companies or banks to steal from people like you and me. The prison population is definitely allied to income and race.

But that is a subject for a different thread.