The cost of feeding thousands of prisoners in Baltimore City's state-run jails will be scrutinized this week after state procurement confusion led to a contractor backing out of a three-year food deal just weeks into the job.
Maryland's Board of Public Works must decide Wednesday whether to approve higher per-meal payment rates for the contractor — Crystal Enterprises Inc. of Prince George's County — by 54 percent in order to keep it on the job long enough to rebid the deal. The rebid is necessary because state procurement documents overestimated by 6,700 the daily number of meals to be served.
But officials are questioning how the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services got to this point. And a competing company is crying foul.