The following op-ed by Deborah Ujevich, policy organizer for the West Virginia Family of Convicted People, appeared in the Friday. Jan. 6 edition of the Charleston Gazette-Mail. 

“Just use a sock.”

That is, no kidding, something I overheard said to a woman in Tygart Valley Jail who requested menstrual products because, according to the corrections officer manning the supply cart, none were available.

Incarceration needlessly involves a lot of humiliation. If you’re a person who menstruates, that humiliation is magnified a thousand-fold. Our culture produces tremendous shame around menstrual cycles, and the added ignominy of incarceration only escalates this shame.

Read more in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.