But under the new House Bill 1884, which is awaiting approval in the House of Delegates, the Virginia Department of Corrections would have to modify the policy for visitors using menstrual products. The current policy is in place to avoid the smuggling of contraband into Department of Corrections facilities.
“If someone chooses to visit a Virginia Department of Corrections inmate, he or she cannot have anything hidden inside a body cavity,” said a Department of Corrections spokesman to the Richmond Times- Dispatch, adding, “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.”
House Bill 1884, sponsored by Del. Mark Keam, (D-Fairfax) is a new bill that was approved by the House Militia Police and Public Safety Committee with a vote of 19-1 in support of the new policy. The bill is in Virginia’s full House of Delegates awaiting approval to modify the existing policy on feminine hygiene products, accord- ing to the article.
HB1884 would change the current policy to require the prison to do the following: notify visitors about the policy prohibiting menstrual cups and tampons ahead of their visit.
Second, provide visitors the option of removing any prohibited menstrual product and replacing it with a state-issued one in order to have a contact visit with an inmate. And third, allow visitors who do not want to remove prohibited menstrual products the option of a no-contact visit with an inmate, according to the article.
The bill prompted Brian Moran, Virginia’s secretary of public safety and homeland security, to suspend the current practice until further review of the policy, according to the Capital News Service article.