Ensuring menstrual product access equity in the criminal legal system

justice system

A new study has shown that among incarcerated women, many have to trade or barter to access menstrual hygiene products. The study, which examines menstrual equity, or the access to menstrual products and safe menstruating environments, in the criminal legal system, is published in the Journal of Women’s Health.

Patricia Kelly, Ph.D., from Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing, and co-authors, found that 53.8% of women involved in the criminal legal system received less than five menstrual products at intake/initial processing. They further reported that 29.5% had to trade or barter menstrual hygiene products.

“Almost one-quarter (23.1%) suffered negative health consequences from prolonged use of products because of limited supply,” stated the investigators.

“As reported in this important study, the lack of access to menstrual products can have negative health consequences,” says Journal of Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA.

More information:
Shilpa Darivemula et al, Menstrual Equity in the Criminal Legal System, Journal of Women’s Health (2023). DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2023.0085

Journal information:
Journal of Women’s Health

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