A bill to ensure women inmates are provided with necessary hygiene products cleared its final House panel Tuesday, as the House Judiciary Committee signed off on the bill.
The legislation (HB 49), also known as the “Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act,” was sponsored by Democratic Reps. Shevrin Jones of West Park and Amy Mercado of Orlando. The measure would mandate that feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes and toilet paper at no cost.
Valencia Gunder, Campaign Manager for Dignity Florida, released a statement following the bill’s passage. Gunder has spoken out in favor of the legislation in the past. Her group is made up of state partners supporting the measure.
“The state of Florida is working towards real reform, real change and real transformation,” Gunder said.
“Ensuring a women’s safety and health is an important priority. Maintaining and restoring the dignity of incarcerated women and girls is powerful step in the right direction.”
The bill would also seek to shield women inmates from abuse by restricting the use of pat-down searches by male correctional officers.