Get the Facts: Our Correctional Services

We have provided food and facility services in corrections environments longer than any other organization in the country.

Aramark has been a valued partner to the corrections industry for nearly 40 years, helping 500 correctional facilities around the country maintain safe, stable environments for millions of offenders, officers and staff every day. 

We do not manage or operate correctional facilities, or do any business with federal penitentiaries. We provide meals to offenders in state and county correctional facilities. The correctional facility determines the nutritional specifications for the menus we create (calories, portions, religious meals.) All menus are designed by Registered Dietitians to meet the nutritional requirements specified by the facility, as well as the guidelines set by the American Correctional Association (ACA). ACA guidelines are based on the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) and Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). Typical calories range between 2,500-3,500 per day.

Over the past 15 years, we have helped reduce recidivism and rehabilitate millions of offenders through our IN2WORK vocational training program, which earned the National Governors Award for Public Private Partnerships in 2013. In some cases, the program has helped reduce recidivism by as much as 30 percent. At the direction of the facility, non-violent offenders have the opportunity to work in the kitchen in exchange for a reduction in their sentence and/or as a way to earn money for their trust accounts. This labor model is specified by the facility and is another way to help rehabilitate offenders and reduce recidivism.


Updates

July 13, 2015: Aramark News Release
Aramark and Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) Mutually Agree to End Contract
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June 23, 2015: The Washington Times
Ohio Decides to Renew Prison Food Contract with Aramark
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October 20, 2014: Testimonial
Former Michigan Sheriff Recommends Aramark
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October 6, 2014: Open Letter
Aramark Response to News Media Coverage about its Corrections Business in Michigan
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August 8, 2014: Aramark News Release
Aramark and Michigan Department of Corrections Move Forward with Partnership; Company Cleared of False Claims
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August 8, 2014: Michigan Governor News Release
Snyder Issues Statement Addressing Prison Food Service Issues
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August 8, 2014: MDOC Statement
Michigan Department of Corrections Statement on Aramark Correctional Services
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August 7, 2014: The Columbus (OH) Dispatch
Prison Director Takes Responsibility for Some Maggot Problems
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July 30, 2014: Ohio CIIC Statement
Testimony from John Hanner, President, Aramark Correctional Services
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Proven Track Record  

Quality Service: Aramark serves more than 500 state, county and municipal correctional facilities as a single source provider for daily meals (380 million each year), commissary services, laundry management, and facilities management.

  • To ensure quality, we implement our Operational Excellence (OP-X) ® program at every site we serve. OP-X® includes production, portion control and menu-planning systems that ensure each meal is properly prepared and served. Additionally, our menus meet the nutritional guidelines of the American Correctional Association. 
  • Aramark conducts quarterly and/or annual business reviews as well as annual client satisfaction surveys to ensure we are always aligned with our clients’ priorities. Any deficiencies are quickly dealt with to underscore our commitment to operational excellence. In addition, Aramark employs a staff of full-time dietitians to plan meals. 
  • Aramark’s dedication to excellence helps us retain 98 percent of our corrections clients.    

Vocational Training Program: The IN2WORK® program offers job skills training to inmates in more than 75 facilities across the country, providing participants with hands-on training and certification that prepares them for jobs in the culinary and retail management industries. IN2WORK was awarded the 2013 National Governor’s Award for Public Private Partnerships for helping reduce recidivism in the state of Indiana.>

Taxpayer savings: Aramark saves state and municipal governments millions of dollars each year through our innovative approach to management and our bulk purchasing agreements with suppliers.

Invested in the community: To support the communities where we operate, we purchase from local vendors when possible. In addition, our employees donate their time, efforts and talents to community service projects through our Aramark Building Community (ABC) initiative.


Our Food Safety Commitment

Food safety is our top priority that we take seriously. We are committed to maintaining rigid standard operating procedures for the entire flow of food production. This includes providing an environment that protects the safety and integrity of food from its delivery, throughout its storage, preparation, transport, and ultimately, to the point of service to the customer.

In addition to working with local Health Departments, we conduct frequent internal inspections and take the added step to engage independent third-party auditors to evaluate our practices and ensure the utmost safety in our operations. We are also committed to providing specialized food safety training and certification to all our food service employees. 

SAFE Principles
We implement Aramark SAFE (Safety Assurance in Food and Environments) everywhere we operate to ensure safety is at the forefront and use the following guiding principles every day:

COMPLY with food, environmental, and workplace safety regulations that relate to the industries, geographies, and venues where we operate.

ENSURE that purchases through authorized suppliers contributes to the safety of the food we serve and the facilities we operate.

REGULARLY TRAIN our people for their important responsibilities to maintain a safe and healthy workplace and service environment.

FREQUENTLY REVIEW and enhance our food, environmental, and workplace safety standards, practices, and programs.

STRIVE to continuously improve our food, environmental, and occupational safety performance and to promote sustainable practices.

ENSURE active ownership from our people and encourage participation from our clients, customers, partners, and other stakeholders to play a role in achieving our safety goals.

FOSTER a culture of “front line first” where all team members are well supported in their ability to reduce safety risks; prevent incidents, injuries, and food-related illnesses; and to protect the environment.

ENSURE that everyone has the right and obligation to stop and question any job that causes concern about their personal safety, the safety of others, or of the environment.

Our SAFE Commitment

Our SAFE Commitment and Policies are the core to Aramark SAFE and reflect how we live our safety promise every day to enrich and nourish those we serve.

LEADERSHIP OVERSIGHT
Leadership sets clear expectations, drives accountability, and leads by example to continue oving us towards Target Zero: no harm to people or the environment.

EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT
Employees help create safe environments through regular feedback opportunities.

SAFE STANDARDS
Establishing targeted, simple, and highly visual guidelines to support compliance and reduce risk delivers operational excellence.

METRICS AND MONITORING
We track our safety initiatives and evaluate performance to assess opportunities for continuous improvement.

RECOGNITION AND INCENTIVES
We cultivate a culture of appreciation for our employees and guests.

EDUCATION AND TOOLS
Training and support resources that facilitate effective implementation of our SAFE Standards are readily available on Aramark's SAFE portal.


Facts about Working in a Corrections Environment 

  • A typical large correctional system serves over 3 million meals each week during 600 meal periods. 
  • The inmates typically work in the kitchens preparing and serving food to other inmates. 
  • Oversight of the number of times that inmates can go through food lines varies in locations. Many times, inmates go through food lines more than once, which impacts the quantity of food available. 
  • Foodservice operations on the scale of a correctional system often substitute menu items based on product availability. This happens in all institutional food service environments regardless if they are run in house or operated privately. 
  • Issues with staffing (including intimacy with inmates) occur in every prison in this country regardless of how their food service is operated. 
  • Stop orders are issued frequently in prisons and involve all types of staff and administrative personnel, including officers and guards. 
  • There typically isn’t any public reporting in self-operated facilities so incidents are not made known and are not covered by the media. 
  • There are rarely ever any public disclosures made about what staffing levels were or how many stop orders were issued, or what inmate feedback is about food quality. 
  • In self-operated facilities, it can take up to 3 months to terminate an employee who is suspected of improper behavior (contraband or inmate intimacy) because there is a lengthy grievance process, during which staff in question remain employed. 
  • In private facilities, employees suspected of inappropriate conduct can be addressed and dismissed immediately, which improves safety and security.

Reputation

What Others are Saying about Aramark's Correctional Services: 

James A. Gondles Jr., CAE, Executive Director of the American Correctional Association:

“The American Correctional Association (ACA) has been in existence for 143 years. During that time, ACA has championed the professional development and standards for the correctional industry to thrive and achieve its goals. In an effort to see our industry provide a safe environment for our offenders and staff we have worked tirelessly with industry experts like Aramark to create resources and guidance which enable our membership to improve the business of corrections. Whether it be through industry research, food safety or rehabilitation programs, companies such as Aramark create increasing value for the members of the ACA. Aramark in particular has been a champion of our cause and has continually focused resources and expertise to ensure their partner facilities meet the ACA standards around food safety and quality. We appreciate their continued support to these all-important efforts.”

Mitch Daniels, Former Governor of Indiana:

“In May 2005 the Indiana Department of Corrections announced $11.5 million in annual savings to our taxpayers by partnering with Aramark Correctional Services to manage the foodservice operations for the state’s Correctional facilities. The savings have grown over the past six years and is now approaching $75 million.”


World Class Organization

At Aramark, our integrity and reputation are paramount. Our dedication to quality and service have made us a leader in our industry for almost 80 years. 

Aramark has consistently been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, as determined by the Ethisphere Institute, a leading international think tank dedicated to best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. We have also been named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies, an honor we have shared with our 270,000 team members around the world since 1998.

In addition, we are proud to be recognized as an employer of choice by the Human Rights Campaign, receiving 100 percent on their Corporate Equality Index (LGBT Equality), along with DiversityInc., Black Enterprise, Careers & the disABLED and Latino magazines.

Our corporate responsibility platform focuses on issues that matter most to our clients, customers, employees and communities:

  • supporting our diverse workforce, 
  • advancing consumer health and wellness, 
  • protecting the environment, and 
  • strengthening communities. 

We invest financial resources, volunteer the skills of our employees, and develop community partnerships to make a meaningful difference. 

Our global volunteer and philanthropic program, Aramark Building Community, partners on the local level with community organizations to address multiple issues. During our annual day of service, ABC Day, thousands of associates globally help underserved communities illustrating our-year round commitment. We also support national and local partnerships, and contribute millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations through the Aramark Charitable Fund.

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