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Dignity for Incarcerated Women

By Rep. Amy Mercado, Rep. Shevrin Jones, and Sen. Jason Pizzo, 
HB 49 / SB 332

Health Care Products

Requires correctional facilities to provide incarcerated women with necessary feminine hygiene products, including tampons, sanitary napkins, toothpaste, and no-lye soap at no additional cost.

There are 6,658 women incarcerated in state run prisons and 7,861 women incarcerated in county detention facilities.

Women do not have control over their menstrual cycles and should not have to pay for menstrual products while incarcerated. The average woman uses approximately 20 tampons per cycle but incarcerated women in florida report receiving as few as 10 pads per month and one roll of toilet paper per week.

There is no Florida law that ensures access to feminine hygiene products in detention centers. This measure removes an additional economic barrier for incarcerated women.

Correctional Officers

This bill restricts male correctional facility employees who work in women's facilities from conducting pat-down searches or body cavity searches on incarcerated women or entering spaces where incarcerated women are in a state of undress.

The population of incarcerated women has grown 700 percent in the past two decades.

Between 2009 and 2011, women represented 13 percent of people held in local jails but 67 percent of victims of staff perpetrated sexual victimization. 38.9 percent of women in jail reported at least one incident of staff sexual misconduct and 5.8 percent reported 11 or more incidents. These were merely reported incidents. Many incidents go unreported. 

86 percent of women in prison are sexual-abuse survivors. Allowing male officers to conduct pat-down searches and enter restrooms or showers increases the possibility of sexual assault and re-traumatization.

 

INFORMATION PROVIDED BY: COMMUNITY JUSTICE PROJECT

Dignity Florida Core Partners: Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Miami Workers Center, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health - Florida Latina Advocacy NetworkNew Florida Majority

Dignity Florida Supporters: ACLU Florida, Community Justice Project, Cut 50, Equality Florida, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Florida People's Advocacy Center, Power U Center for Social Change, Southern Poverty Law Center, Statewide Alignment Group, Women's March Florida

For More Information, Contact: Charo Valero - [email protected], Jasmen Rogers-Shaw - [email protected], or Valencia Gunder - [email protected]