Michigan seeks bids for prison medical services

LANSING (AP) -- The State of Michigan is seeking bids for a three-year deal to provide medical services to all its 43,000 inmates as part of a possible privatization effort.

The Detroit Free Press reports proposals are due Aug. 29 to provide physical and mental services, including wound care, treatment of heart disease and diabetes, dental care, optometry and sex offender treatment. The Department of Corrections says the contract could replace the work of 1,300 state employees.

Prison medical and mental health services cost the state $306 million in 2011.

Department spokesman Russ Marlan says the state wants to use competitive bidding to determine how much or whether it can reduce its costs.

Critics of such a move say there are no assurances that it will result in significant savings.

Published: Wed, Aug 1, 2012