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Maryland giving its inmates free menstrual products matters. Here's why

by 21ninety

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Correctional facilities in Maryland will soon be required to provide free feminine hygiene products for inmates after both the House and Senate unanimously passed the bills at the end of February

In the past, and in many other states, women who have been incarcerated haven't been provided with the resources they need. Federal prisons made them free last summer, but the majority of incarcerated women are actually in state prisons or local jails, so they depend on state legislation to see a change.

States such as Virginia are also considering legislation that could provide feminine hygiene products to inmates. And Arizona passed legislature after the #LetItFlow campaign advocated for inmates rights.

Having the products we need can be something we take for granted. In many prisons, women are offered a low number of pads per month, which doesn't accommodate people with heavier or longer flows. And if they need more, they have to choose to spend whatever income they might make through the prison to buy hygiene products.

Legislature like that which was recently passed in Maryland is a step in the right direction toward treating women in prison in a humanizing, appropriate way.