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Oregon women’s prison becomes 1 of few to offer free tampons

January 3, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has joined a small number of states that give tampons to inmates.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Paula Myers, a corrections officer who was named superintendent of Coffee Creek Correctional Institution last spring, arranged in the fall for the state to provide tampons to inmates who want them.

Previously, the state’s lone women’s prison has provided sanitary pads to inmates but charged for tampons.

Coffee Creek inmates may have up to 10 pads or tampons, or a combination of the two.

The shift is part of a national movement focused on giving incarcerated women -- who make up about 9 percent of the imprisoned population nationwide -- free access to menstrual hygiene products.

A new federal policy requires the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to provide its women inmates with sanitary pads and tampons at no charge but the rule doesn’t apply to states.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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