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Meng Calls on Head of Federal Bureau of Prisons to Issue Needed Guidance on Distribution of Feminine Hygiene Products to Female Inmates

Dec 21, 2018
Press Release
Congresswoman, whose efforts led to the agency making these items available to incarcerated women, sends letter to Acting Director Hugh Hurwitz; letter comes as President Trump signs criminal justice reform bill that will provide tampons and sanitary napkins to female prisoners
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) today sent a letter to Hugh Hurwitz, the Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), calling on him to issue guidance on his agency’s distribution of feminine hygiene products to incarcerated women.
Last year, the BOP agreed to provide free tampons, pads, and liners to federal female inmates after Meng urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to do so. However, a September report from the DOJ Inspector General found that the distribution methods for these items, and the type of products provided to inmates, varied by institution, and did not always ensure that inmates had access to a quantity of products sufficient to meet their needs.
"The August 2017 decision to make feminine hygiene products available free of charge to incarcerated women was a great victory that I was proud to champion,” said Meng. “However, making them available is not enough. Women must be able to have easy access to as many of these products as they require. The DOJ IG report makes clear that not all women at all facilities have sufficient access to these products. I strongly urge Acting Director Hurwitz to correct this problem by immediately implementing the Inspector General’s recommendation and issuing the appropriate guidance. President Trump’s signing of the First Step Act today, which will mandate that tampons and sanitary napkins be made available to incarnated women, underscores the urgency of issuing this guidance as quickly as possible.”
The text of Meng’s letter is below and a copy of the correspondence can be viewed here.