Former women prisoners advocate for better conditions

Published: Mar. 21, 2019 at 6:24 AM EDT
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By: Capitol News Service

March 21, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) – Former women prisoners rallied at the State Capitol Wednesday morning in support of legislation that would require Florida prisons to provide feminine hygiene products to inmates.

Supporters say women prisoners are often provided with a limited supply and are then forced to pay for, or even outright denied, additional menstrual products.

“For a woman who has resources, I had support, who had to actually quantify my cycle, which meant put used pads in a brown paper bag to show a male officer in order for them to get me more pads, and the inhumane and disgusting treatment that I felt, I couldn't imagine what women felt and went through who didn't have resources,” said Topeka K. Sam, Director of Dignity for Incarcerated Women.

The bill would also make changes to how male corrections staff are allowed to handle women inmates. It also increases reporting of inappropriate incidents between male staff and women prisoners.