Virginia prisons to ban tampons for female visitors

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Women who visit inmates at Virginia prisons will be barred from wearing tampons or menstrual cups under a new policy stemming from concerns about contraband, the state Department of Corrections said Monday.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections said Monday that the policy set to become effective next month is aimed at preventing contraband — including drugs —from being smuggled into prisons.

Lisa Kinney said that after the DOC consulted with the state Attorney General’s Office, “it was decided that facilities would offer pads to women who are wearing tampons while visiting a prison so the tampons don’t appear as possible contraband on a body scan.”

Inmate advocates sharply criticized the policy, saying it violates the privacy rights of female visitors.

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