13:47, September 25 322 0 abajournal.com

2018-09-25 13:47:05
Female lawyers exempt from tampon ban for Virginia prison visitors

Most women who visit prisons in Virginia soon won’t be allowed to wear tampons or menstrual cups.

The policy, which goes into effect next month, is intended to stop women from smuggling contraband, report the Associated Press, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Washington Post and National Public Radio.

“There have been many instances in which visitors have attempted to smuggle drugs into our prisons by concealing those drugs in a body cavity, including the vagina,” prison spokeswoman Lisa Kinney told the Times-Dispatch. The new policy is intended to protect the safety of prisoners following the deaths of some inmates from drug overdoses, Kinney said.

The policy doesn’t apply to female lawyers visiting clients, Kinney told NPR.

Other female visitors will be offered pads to use in place of tampons or menstrual cups. Those who fail to remove the hygiene products before a body scan “will have their visitation terminated for the day and will have their visitation privileges reviewed,” according to a memo by David Call, the warden of Nottoway Correctional Center in central Virginia.

Kinney said when body scans reveal potential contraband, visitors have the choice of accepting a body cavity search or leaving the prison. The tampon policy “aims to help visitors avoid that altogether,” she said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia issued a statement criticizing the policy as “simply unacceptable.”

VA is now NOT allowing visitors to wear a tampon or menstrual cup during visits….this is way over the line….. pic.twitter.com/9JxzWrT6cS

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