Yonts Proposes State-Run Food Services for Prisoners

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

The state, not private contractors, would be responsible for feeding thousands of state prison inmates under legislation moving in the Kentucky General Assembly.

Rep. Brent Yonts believes lousy food was the primary cause of last year’s riot at Northpoint Training Center near Danville. Yonts believes the state, not private vendors like Aramark, can do a better job of feeding thousands of state inmates.

“There’s money being made on this contract, or there wouldn’t be a contract here,” said Yonts. “The inmates are the ones who are starving.”

But Justice Secretary Michael Brown says no inmates are starving. Brown stands behind the official Northpoint incident report, which primarily blamed restrictions on inmate movements for the riot, not food – although food was a contributing factor.

The debate will continue because Yonts’ bill to deprivatize prison food services cleared the House Judiciary committee 9-4.