SARASOTA (WWSB) - Legislation is progressing in Tallahassee with a bill that would require state correctional facilities to provide incarcerated women with personal hygiene products.
The products that would be required to be issued to the inmates are toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap that is not lye-based and feminine hygiene products that include tampons and pads.
The bill also requires pat downs and strip searches of inmates to be conducted by a female guard, unless there is an emergency and it prohbits male correctional officers from entering the shower area in a female prison.
House bill sponsor Shevrin Jones said in a news conference at the state capitol earlier this week that the needs of female inmates have gone without being met for too long. He also added that the number of female hygiene products requires will vary from woman to woman and month to month.
“Women are given a certain amount, and when they run out of the amount that they have, they go ask for more," Jones said. "Some women are being denied. We’ve heard stories of women being denied tampons or pads because of their behavior.”
So far, the legislation has unanimously passed one of three committee stops in the House, and two in the Senate. The measure must pass three committees in each chamber before being taken up for a final vote. Friday marks the end of the third week of Florida’s nine-week regular legislative session for 2019.