Tag Archive: Westville Correctional Facility

Update from the Collective Struggle inside the Westville Control Unit 10/15

bridgeFrom Rififi Bloomington

Aramark, the private company that won the contract for food at Westville Correctional Facility (a prison in northern Indiana), has enacted drastic cut-backs over the past several months. As a result, hot lunch trays have been replaced with cold, nutritionally deficient sack lunches. One prisoner reports dropping from 215 to 150 pounds during his stint in Westville. Prisoners began refusing these humiliating lunches in collective protest on January 13th, and now their struggle is expanding.

Westville’s Control Unit is divided into four pods, each containing four sections. As the collective protest spreads, it’s expected to involve majorities in all eight sections of A and B pods before the end of the week. Prisoners report that many within the Control Unit are setting aside petty differences in order to support each other and share food.

In response to the start of the protest and the mass call-in day on 1/14, prison bureaucrats are foisting responsibility for the malnourishing lunches onto Aramark. However, we know that the two are acting in collusion; the DOC could act to force the contractor to bring back hot lunches. Prisoners have been inspired by the massive response to the call-in day from around the United States. They are determined to continue until they win.

Now is the time to multiply solidarity actions and pressure against the Indiana DOC and Aramark. Continue calling IDOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon at (317) 232-5711 and Aramark Correctional Services at (800) 777-7090 (though we’ve heard that they have sometimes stopped picking up in response to the flood of calls they’ve received so far). (more…)

Indiana Prisoner Solidarity: Tuesday January 14th 8am – Emergency Call-in Day

call-inFrom Riffi

On Monday, January 13th, Indiana prisoners being detained in Westville Correctional Facility began to refuse the nutritionally deficient, unappetizing cold sack lunches they have been forced to endure over the past several months and have issued a call for solidarity. A mass call-in, starting at 8am on Tuesday, is being planned to put pressure on IDOC officials and Aramark Correctional Services to reinstitute hot lunch trays.

On Tuesday, let’s show solidarity and inundate IDOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon 317 232 5711 and Aramark Correctional Services (800) 777-7090 with phone calls demanding the return of hot lunch trays for Indiana prisoners.

Why is this happening?

According to “official” sources, the switch to sack lunches was a 90 day test program launched in response to a prisoner’s request to increase recreation and shower time. Overlooking the absurd proposition that a prison would change its food policy based on a prisoner request for extended recreation time, the fact is that since the conversion to sack lunches, recreation and shower time have not increased, and the 90 day trial period has long since passed.

The truth is more likely to be found in the bottom line and Aramark’s business history. In 2005, Aramark Correctional Services (ACS) signed aquarter billion dollar, ten year contract with the Indiana Department of Corrections to provide meals for inmates. Since then, Indiana DOC has saved more than $11 million a year, spending approximately $1.19 per meal/per prisoner. In other states these savings have been achieved as a result of skimping on food portions and quality. In Florida, an audit of ACS found the company was cutting costs/increasing profits by cutting portions on meals. In Kentucky, similar skimping on portions coupled with a decrease in the quality of food led to food riots in 2009. During the investigation that followed, Aramark refused to provide Kentucky auditors with access to its records, making a claim to their proprietary rights and confidentiality. (more…)