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press@acluva.org; (804) 644-8080

September 24, 2018

Update 10 p.m., Sept. 24, 2018: We've since learned that the new policy applies to all Virginia Department of Corrections prisons, not just Nottoway Correctional Center.

In response to recent news report on a new policy at Nottoway Correctional Center that prohibits the use of certain hygiene products, such as tampons and menstrual cups, during visitation, the ACLU of Virginia issued the following statement.

"Helping people who are housed in jail or prison stay connected to friends, families, and communities is critical to rehabilitation and eventual, successful re-entry to society. Any policy that discourages visitors is, therefore, one that should be subject to the most exacting and careful review. In addition, a policy like this one that requires those who wish to visit people who are incarcerated to set aside their dignity and health is simply unacceptable. We call upon Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke to immediately clarify DOC policy for visitors at all state prisons and to direct wardens at the Nottoway Correctional Center and other facilities to reverse any policy or practice that limits the visitation rights of visitors who are menstruating without regard to which hygiene product they choose to use."

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