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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 31, 2020 09:17 AM
From: Representative Isabella V. Fitzgerald
To: All House members
Subject: Dignity for Incarcerated Women: Feminine Hygiene Products
For years, incarcerated women have been forced to purchase specific feminine products from the prison commissary.  Limited in size and choice, women in the criminal justice system continue to face challenges when buying or asking for feminine hygiene products, simply because of a biological need that they cannot control.  It is unacceptable that these items were, at one point, not even provided to the women in our prisons.

My legislation would require state prisons to provide at least two varieties of sanitary pads and two varieties of tampons to all female inmates at no cost, regardless of their financial means.  Women would not have to demonstrate proof of need or undergo a medical authorization or diagnosis to receive the products.  While I appreciate that the DOC recently changed its internal policy to provide these products, my legislation is critical in cementing this change in state law and ensuring that future administrations cannot easily rescind the practice.

We owe our incarcerated women dignity and respect.  As legislators, it is our duty to fix this issue and prevent any future administrations from taking away no-cost feminine hygiene products.  By supporting my legislation, we could bring parity to female inmates by providing them with the vital, basic products they need to feel comfortable during their time in the criminal justice system.

Introduced as HB700