Kinross UP Inmates to Silently Protest Prisoners' Low Food Quality

Mar 31, 2016 08:04 AM EDT | By Anita Valensia

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ICE Holds Immigrants At Adelanto Detention Facility
ADELANTO, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Immigrant detainees eat lunch, one of three meals a day, at the Adelanto Detention Facility on November 15, 2013 in Adelanto, California. The facility, the largest and newest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detention center in California, houses an average of 1,100 immigrants in custody pending a decision in their immigration cases or awaiting deportation. The average stay for a detainee is 29 days. The facility is managed by the private GEO Group. ICE detains an average of 33,000 undocumented immigrants in more than 400 facilities nationwide.
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Inmates at Kinross Correctional Facility Upper Peninsula participated in a silent protest against the food quality served by new contractor Trinity Services Group - the state contractor who replaced previous Aramark Correctional Services.

More than a thousand inmates did not appear on meal time on Monday according to Chirs Gautz, spokesman for the state's Department of Corrections. The incident started on the previous day after prisoners left the yard, 20 minutes earlier.

Another concern came from Anita Lloyd from Michigan Corrections Organization that to have inmates protested in such scope - is a serious issue. Describing the coordination of the inmates, Gautz agreed on the fact that it would be difficult to make everybody meet on the same page. Regardless the protest, Lloyd was glad that it's a peaceful one.

Later investigation, however, led to the finding of incidents in Chippewa on how prisoners were said to have intimidated other inmates - restricting them from attending meal time. An inmate was reportedly standing on the entrance and preventing the rest from entering, Gautz said. After talking to these prisoners, the warden addressed their concern to Trinity - advising changes on the meals. On Tuesday, everything was back to normal.

Trinity and Michigan agreed on a three-year contract to feed prisoners after the previous service from Aramark led to possible billing increase and other troublesome including food substitutions. The tie's cut as Trinity earned the approval in July.

However, according to the Free Press, the demonstration was not solely due to the food quality. Rather, involving a long list of complaints which the authority failed to address. The media talked to Lamont Heard, a life-sentenced inmate, who overheard prisoners complaining about overflowing toilets and room's lack of ventilation. As the problems on food quality include lack of meat's substitution and reduced portions. The inmates were also reportedly requesting for fans after seeing dogs in the prison's training program were given electric fans.

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