RICHMOND, Va. -Women visiting friends, family, and loved ones incarcerated in Virginia prisons will no longer be allowed to wear a tampon during that visit once a new Virginia Department of Corrections policy goes into effect next month, according to WTVR.
"If someone chooses to visit a Virginia Department of Corrections inmate, he or she cannot have anything hidden inside a body cavity," Virginia Department of Corrections Director of Communications Lisa Kinney explained.
"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. In consultation with the 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."
When potential contraband is discovered during a body scan, that visitor must either submit to a strip search or leave the facility, Kinney said.
"It’s our job to keep the offenders and staff as safe as we can," she added. "We know that people who have loved ones in Virginia prisons don’t want visitors to be able to smuggle in lethal drugs, putting their loved ones' lives in danger."
The ACLU of Virginia responded to the policy with the following statement:
It's simply unacceptable that the @VADOC would issue a policy like this one to prohibit visitors from wearing tampons or menstrual cups in VA jails. Such a policy discourages those who wish to visit people who are incarcerated & requires them to set aside their dignity & health. pic.twitter.com/6tyHcZt88N
— ACLU of Virginia (@ACLUVA) September 24, 2018