The Michigan Department of Corrections has decided to contract out food services at the state's 31 prison facilities to Aramark, reversing an earlier decision. The department accepted the company's $49.7 million bid after determining that it would save the state $12 million in the first year and $16 million in the following years.

State law requires at least a five percent savings from outsourcing and Corrections Dept. officials initially calculated that the Aramark bid would fail to meet that threshold. They now say that those calculations used flawed assumptions and that the contract will actually mean up to a 20 percent savings. Michigan prisons currently house over 44,000 prisoners.