Equal Access to Menstrual Products in Prisons

  • Location
    Madison, New Jersey
  • Status
  • Age Level
    14 to 18 Years
    19 to 25 Years
  • Group Type
    K-12 School

The Problem

This fall, I helped to organize the first-ever National Period Day rally, which advocated for equal access to menstrual products and removal of the tampon tax. One of the rally's speakers had previously worked with incarcerated menstruators, and I was shocked to hear about the lack of access to menstrual products in prisons. She spoke of these menstruators receiving a low quantity, usually only ten or so, of low-quality products. Even worse, these products were generally sold within prisons for an inaccessible price, making it impossible for most to afford them. For the past year, I've distributed over 8,500 period products to homeless shelters and food pantries, but this speech was one of the first times I heard about menstrual inequality in prisons. When one thinks about the places menstrual products are most needed, jail might not immediately come to mind. Since federal prisons guarantee inmates free pads and tampons, menstrual inequality may not even seem to be an issue. However, many local prisons don't make menstrual products accessible, or they offer a single type of menstrual product (i.e. pads but not tampons) that does not fit the needs of all menstruators. With this in my mind, I hope to work for greater menstrual equity for incarcerated menstruators in my community.

Our Plan

I hope to help correct this inequality by creating period care packages for incarcerated menstruators. These packages, which consist of 10 tampons and 10 pads, would alleviate the significant physical and psychological effects of not having proper access to menstrual products. These bags would be distributed at prisons within the New Jersey area.

Themes Addressed

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    Poverty & Equity
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    Social Justice

The Benefit

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