Bill requires jails to provide menstrual products to inmates

Bill requires jails to provide menstrual products to inmates
Julia Tutwiler Prison for women in Wetumpka.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A bill would require jails and prisons to provide female inmates with tampons or sanitary pads.

The Alabama House of Representatives voted 101-0 Tuesday for the legislation that now moves to the Alabama Senate.

The bill by Rep. Rolanda Hollis of Birmingham would write into law that jails and prisons are required to provide the items.

Hollis says she has heard stories of inmates resorting to fashioning their own hygiene items when they could not obtain them.

Department of Corrections Bob Horton says feminine hygiene items are readily available in bathrooms at Alabama's only prison for women.

The state prison system in 2015 agreed to make the products available and free as part of a wide-ranging settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to improve conditions at the prison.