Report: Privatizing Could Cut Prison Feeding Cost

Study says Michigan could cut costs in half with move.

Michigan taxpayers could save nearly half of the $83.4 million they spend to feed the state's 51,000 prison inmates by privatizing the function, concludes a recent state audit.

The review found that the daily cost for feeding each inmate is almost $5: $2.48 in food cost and $2.50 in labor.

The audit also says more money could be saved by cutting back on fresh produce and dairy, reducing daily calories and better controlling servings. It cited other states like Florida that had privatized their correctional foodservice operations.

Florida now pays $2.56 per day for each inmate's meals after privatizing its prison foodservice in 2001.