Incarcerated Women Might Finally Get Adequate Access to Tampons

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Rikers Island Correctional Facility, courtesy Google Maps

According to the New York City Department of Corrections, tampons and pads are adequately available for menstruating inmates. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case. And now, New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland is ready to change that.

First, let’s get the facts: according to Broadly., Rosa M. Singer Center, the female to the Rikers Island Correctional Facility, receives 144 thin menstrual pads per every 50 inmates from the DOC. That comes down to 2.8 pads per inmate. Because 2 thin pads is enough to adequately last you your entire 7-day period, right?

Related: You Need to Know the Ingredients in Your Tampons

Anyone who gives this situation even a second glance would realize that this is not nearly enough to cover an incarcerated woman for her period. Not to mention that women have to buy pads at the commissary, despite the average pay for inmates being 12-40 cents per hour (source:

Julissa is ready to change all of that with a new sets of bills that would give inmates free menstrual products that would actually be accessible (no more of this 2.8 pads per inmate nonsense).

“[No] inmate should have to jump through hoops, face illness, or feel humiliated because they cannot access pads or tampons,” Julissa said.

The bills were just proposed a few days ago so we’ll have to wait to see if they go through. The country puts millions of dollars into the prison system every year, yet we can’t give ladies a few tampons? Pathetic.


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