Oregon county jails to make tampons available for free

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon county jails will start making tampons available free of charge to women in custody.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association made the announcement in response to its inquiries.

The state’s only women’s prison recently began giving tampons to inmates who want them. The state prison previously gave inmates sanitary pads but women who wanted tampons had to buy them.

Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers surveyed jail commanders and says most provide free tampons. He says those that provide only sanitary pads said they also would start immediately offering tampons.

Democratic state Rep. Margaret Doherty says she has been working on draft legislation that would require free tampons for women and youths in local or state custody.