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Bill guaranteeing hygiene products for women inmates clears panel

A companion bill has been filed in the House.

Women inmates would be guaranteed access to hygiene products under legislation that was OK’d in its first committee Monday.

The measure (SB 332), filed by Sen. Jason Pizzo and reviewed by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, was approved unanimously.

It’s the counterpart to legislation (HB 49) filed by state Reps. Shevrin Jones and Amy Mercado in the House.

The legislation, dubbed the “Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act,” was filed in response to reports regarding the treatment of women inmates, particularly in light of the #MeToo movement.

Pizzo’s measure ensures access to feminine hygiene products, as well as toothbrushes, soap and other items at no cost to the inmates.

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GOP Sen. Keith Perry, who chairs the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, said the legislation was “much needed.”

Valencia Gunder, whose group “Dignity Florida” is advocating on behalf of the measure, praised the advancement of the bill from the first of its three committees on Monday.

“The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act is a step in the right direction to ensure that women and girls who find themselves trapped in the criminal justice system are safe, healthy and treated with respect,” Gunder said.

Gunder, whose advocacy stems in part from being jailed back in 2010, spoke with Florida Politics when the House version of the bill was introduced.

“When it comes to decreasing mass incarceration, women are not usually the center of conversation,” Gunder said. “We’re not asking for a lot.”

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bruce "Booman" Haynes

    February 11, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Hi R yan ‘im Bruce “Booman”Haynes Founder “Men And Women”Of Power”against violence ect.-also a member of the Abe Brown Prison Ministry in Tampa Florida-i like to touch basis with some basic inputs and ideas to improve the broken prison system. Please contact me at 813 850-1435 and email me at. brucelhaynes@gmail.com it would be a pleasure to work and make DIFFERENCES with you.Thank you God Bless Bruce Booman Haynes

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