Provide Feminine Protection to Detained and Incarcerated Women

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Lack of sanitary products in prisons results in humiliation. The shame women experience during their period is heightened among women incarcerated, who are vulnerable to inhumane treatment, and humiliation by correctional officers.

Although federal prisons passed legislation in 2017 to provide free menstrual products, reports indicate that many prisons were failing to provide adequate supplies. A 2017 Bureau of Prisons report cited many prisoners continue to experience irregular allocation of products, restrictions on availability of product type or size, or having to pay for products. Furthermore, the federal legislation only reaches a small portion of women prisoners as 95% of incarcerated women are housed in local jails or state prisons. Therefore, the number of sanitary hygiene products provided to incarcerated women each month varies by state.

Migrant girls being held in detention centers near the U.S.-Mexico border are “visibly” bleeding through their underwear and pants while menstruating due to a lack of access to sanitary products.

Among the testimonials, migrant teenage girls discussed a lack of access to menstrual products including pads and tampons. The girls reported that they were only give one sanitary pad a day while on their periods, and they were often left to sit in soiled underwear and pants.