Women in Arizona State Prison Would Have to Work 27 Hours Just to Get a Box of Tampons

...Several men on the committee wondered why they were debating menstruation. According to Arizona Central, Republican Rep. Jay Lawrence, the committee chairman, said, “I’m almost sorry I heard the bill.” He added, “I didn’t expect to hear pads and tampons and the problems of periods.”

Arizona is not alone in this fight. A handful of other states—including Maryland, Virginia, and Nebraska—have introduced similar legislation or policies in recent weeks. Colorado passed a similar amendment last year.

The move to provide free hygiene products in prisons comes in part as a response to a memo issued by the Bureau of Federal Prisons last year, which required wardens to provide tampons, pads, and panty liners to all federal inmates for free. “But because the majority of incarcerated women are housed in state prisons and local jails unaffected by the policy change, fewer than 10 percent of female inmates stood to gain anything,” Lydia O’Connor wrote in HuffPost earlier this week, pointing to data from the Prison Policy Initiative. ...