Prisoners hold demonstration concerning food conditions

MARQUETTE — Several hundred inmates at the Marquette Branch Prison recently held what’s being called a ‘passive level demonstration’ in regards to the food that’s being served to them.

According to Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz, the demonstration took place during dinner on May 24th. Of the 500 level one inmates that usually eat dinner, only 139 of them showed up to eat. A prisoner inside the facility spoke with ABC 10 Wednesday about the food conditions.

“The food is the lowest grade that you could ever consume in your body,” said Rev. Edward Pinkney, an inmate at the Marquette Branch Prison. “The food itself is spoiled. They serve rotten food. Rodents have defecated on the food. The condition itself is almost… it’s unbearable just eating the food by itself. I have made up my mind that I will not eat the food at any cost.”

Trinity Services Group is the state’s current prison food service provider. The company signed a $158 million contract with the state last year, after the state’s deal with another food service provider- Aramark Correctional Services, was terminated after 18 months.

Back in March, the Detroit Free Press reported that 1,000 inmates at the Kinross Correctional Facility in the eastern U.P. staged a silent protest over the food that was being served.

Gautz added that since the state switched to Trinity, there have been less stop orders and food substitutions.