Meng: Department of Justice to Provide Female Inmates with Tampons, Pads, and Liners
Aug 17, 2017
New policy comes after Congresswoman urged DOJ to make the products available to incarcerated women
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After urging the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to make tampons, pads and liners available to federal female inmates, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) announced today that the agency has agreed to do so.
Under the new policy, the Federal Bureau of Prisons will be required to provide these essential products to incarcerated women free of charge.
Last year, Meng, joined by New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, sent a letter to the DOJ calling for these types of feminine hygiene items to be made available to all female inmates.
"I applaud this decision by the Department of Justice and I thank the agency for understanding our concerns about the importance of inmates having access to these needed products," said Meng. "The move will be a huge boost in our efforts to make tampons, pads, liners and other feminine hygiene products more accessible to women, and it will help restore dignity and proper hygiene practices to the many inmates who found these items out of reach. Though long overdue, I welcome this new policy, and look forward to its implementation."
"Menstrual hygiene products are a human necessity and every woman under the jurisdiction of correctional authorities deserves to have unobstructed access to them,” said Ferreras-Copeland. “Across New York State, we have made strides to ensure menstrual equity, and I applaud Congresswoman Grace Meng for continuing to carry forward this important cause for women everywhere."
Earlier this year, Meng introduced the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2017 (H.R. 972) which contains five provisions to help different populations of women and girls better access feminine hygiene products.
Last year, she convinced FEMA to add feminine hygiene products to the list of items that homeless assistance providers can purchase with federal grant funds. The Congresswoman also advocated for the new law that eliminated the New York State sales tax for feminine hygiene products and advocated for the recent New York City law that increased access to feminine hygiene products for public school students, shelter residents and inmates.