I was shocked to learn the Sheriff’s Office is charging inmates at SLO County Jail double the retail price of tampons. The people in jail are not all criminals. Some are awaiting trial, and are of course innocent until proven guilty. They are in custody, generally, because they cannot afford bail. They are completely vulnerable to the whims of the Sheriff’s Office. Tampons are a need, not a “luxury.” We know that tampons are a “feminine hygiene” product.
The sheriff’s practice is just plain mean. The excuse that it has “always been done this way” is unacceptable. It is not OK that because the Sheriff’s Office has continually, historically ripped off poor women, this practice should be overlooked.
It is especially offensive in light of the sheriff’s television and newspaper ads decrying domestic violence. Note that domestic violence frequently begins with abuse of power and humiliation, coupled with complete control of women. Nothing is more intimate, private or personal than the choice of feminine hygiene products.
The sheriff should discontinue his advertisements against domestic violence until he has refunded the money he charged inmates for tampons and ceases charging for this necessary product.
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Yvonne Helms, Atascadero