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Arizona to Vote on Giving Inmates More Than 12 Pads Per Menstrual Cycle

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An all-male Arizona committee has voted on whether female inmates in the state will be granted more than 12 free pads per menstrual cycle.

Presently, women in the Arizona prison system have to ask a correctional officer for additional sanitary napkins when they’ve run out of the 12 allotted to them. The Global Citizen reports Arizona politician Athena Salman proposed a bill which would rid of limitations on the number of pads given to female offenders. A committee of nine male state representatives recently heard testimonies of women who’ve suffered under the present restrictions.

They may also buy pads from commissary although most inmates only make cents per hour. HuffPost reports a box of 16 pads is equal to 21 hours of labor for the average inmate.

“Bloodstained pants, bartering and begging for pads was a regular occurrence,” one woman shared at the hearing. “You’ve got to really think if you want to sink your whole month’s income into pads.”

Others shared officer would simply deny them access to more pads and they would be punished for possessing contraband when they would try using pieces of the pads as tampons, which aren’t provided free-of-charge.

The panel voted 5-4 on the bill allowing the bill to proceed to Arizona’s House of Representatives for a full hearing.


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