Ohio prisons privatize meal service to save money - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Ohio prisons privatize meal service to save money

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio prison system has announced the privatization of food service operations in a move to save $14 million annually.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says the contract with Philadelphia-based Aramark will help address a $60 million shortfall the agency is facing because of health insurance costs, medical expenses and other issues.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Friday that more than 230 of the agency's 433 food service workers already have moved to other positions within the system, and the system is trying to find places for as many of the remaining workers as possible.

The union representing prison guards criticized the announcement, saying it had offered a competitive proposal to keep the work in-house while saving money.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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