Federal Prison Information

This is a closer look at the federal women’s facilities and whether they explicitly mention the provision of menstrual products like pads, tampons, and panty liners to inmates in their offender handbooks or not. Commissary lists, where available, also show the high cost of these items for women. Keep in mind, inmates do not make minimum wage and are often expected to buy basic hygiene items themselves. (For a comprehensive list of wages for inmates, click here) Commissaries are also not required to keep all items in-stock regularly. Generally, visitors are not allowed to bring packages for inmates and mailed packages of menstrual supplies are unlikely to be accepted.

Information for all facilities is from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and can be found for each location from the Female Offenders page. Clicking on a prison name will take you to its website. Some prison complexes are mixed gender. If there are separate handbooks for different parts of the facility then all are included since the facility websites don’t specify where each gender is housed. Only the commissaries which contain menstrual products are listed and linked if there are multiple lists.

PrisonMentioned in HandbookRelevant ExcerptCommissary Price
FPC AldersonNo
(Aug 2021 version)
$5.00 Tampons Super
$4.80 Tampons Reg
$2.15 Pantyliners
(As of 26 Jul 2021)
FCI AlicevilleNo
(Jul 2021 version)
$2.40 Carefree Panty Liners
$3.25 Always Regular Maxi w/wings
$4.75 Always Maxi Overnight w/wings
$9.45 AM Overnight Extra Heavy
$6.65 Playtex Tampons
$2.85 Tampax Super Tampons
(Sep 2020 verison)
MDC BrooklynNo
(Jul 2021 version)
None Listed
(Oct 2020 version)
FPC BryanNo
(Jan 22, 2016 version)
$5.25 Always Maxi Pads
$2.40 Carefree Liners
$5.45 Super Tampons
(Aug 17, 2018 version)
FMC CarswellMedical Center – No, Camp – No
(Center – Oct 2016 version, Camp – Feb 2017 version)
$5.30 Tampon Regular
$5.30 Tampon Super
$2.15 Care Free Panty Liners
$5.45 Always Maxi Wings
$9.75 Always Ultra Thin Maxi
(Jun 2021 version)
MCC ChicagoNo
(Dec 2019 version)
$1.40 Panty Shields
(Oct 19, 2017 version)
FCI DanburyNo
(Aug 20, 2019 version)
$5.15 Maxi Pad w/Wings
$6.80 Overnight Ultrathin Pad
$2.15 Panty Liners
$5.40 Tampax Tampons (Super)
$5.30 Tampax Tampons (Regular)
(Apr 2019 version)
FCI DublinInstitution – No, Camp – No
(Inst – Jul 16, 2018 version, Camp – Jul 2018)
$3.50 Extra Heavy Overnight Pads w/Wings
$5.30 Overnight Pads w/Wings
$5.30 Regular Pads w/Wings
(As of Jul 27, 2021)
FCI GreenvilleInstitution – No, Camp – Yes
(Inst – 2014 version, Camp – Mar 2014 camp version)
p. 8 “Sanitary napkins and soap are issued by the institution, as well as other hygiene products (for indigent inmates) and are available in the housing units.”$2.80 Always Maxi Pads
$3.90 Tampons Regular
$3.05 Tampons Super
(Camp – Jul 19, 2017 version)
MDC GuaynaboNo
(Oct 13, 2011 version)
$1.45 Pantyshields
$3.30 Maxi Pads
$6.80 Platex Tampons
(Mar 19, 2012 version)
FCI HazeltonInstitution – No, Satellite Facility – No
(Inst – May 12, 2014 version, Fac – May 16, 2011 version)
No commissary list available
(As of Jul 27, 2021)
FDC HonoluluNo
(May 8, 2014 version)
$1.50 Always Pantiliners
$3.90 Always Maxi-Pads
$5.50 Playtex Tampons 20/PK
(Jun 2018 version)
FDC HoustonCenter – Yes, Holdover – Yes
(Center – Nov 20, 2013 version, Holdover – Nov 20, 2013 version)
p. 35 “Products for female hygiene are available upon request.”
(p.18 in holdover handbook)
None listed
(Sep 2020 version)
FMC LexingtonNo
(Aug 31, 2017 version)
$2.35 Pantyliners
$3.30 Super Maxi Pads
$3.55 Always Plus w/Wings 10 pk
$6.40 Always Overnites
$2.55 Always 24 pk w/o Wings
$2.95 Tampax
(Sep 2015 version)
MDC Los AngelesNo
(As of Nov 3, 2021)
$5.35 Always Maxi Pads
$5.30 Tampax Regular
$1.45 Prefer Panty Shield
(Jul 20, 2018 version)
FCI MariannaNo
(Oct 2014 version)
$5.45 Maxi Pads w/Wings
$2.15 Panti Liners, Carefree
$6.65 Tampons, Playtex
$5.85 Tampons, Regular
$5.85 Tampons, Super
$6.40 Always Overnight w/Wings
(Nov 21, 2017 version)
FDC MiamiNo
(Jun 2014 version)
$6.70 Always Pad w/Wings
$1.40 Panty Liners
(Jun 2014 version)
MCC New York
(Currently closed, unclear if permanently)
No
(As of Jul 27, 2021)
$7.90 Always Super Pads
$1.60 Panty Liners
$7.65 Tampons
(Oct 2020 version)
FTC Oklahoma CityCity Cadre – No, Holdover – No
(Cadre – Nov 2015 version, Holdover – Aug 2017 holdover)
$3.30 Maxi Pads Reg
$3.05 Maxi Pads Super
$7.65 Tampons
$1.50 Panty Liners
(Jan 23, 2019 version)
FCI PekinInstitution – No, Camp – No
(Inst – Feb 2014 version, Camp – Feb 2014 version)
$5.85 Always Panty Liner
$5.85 Always Panty Liners w/Wings
$6.25 Stayfree Super Maxi
$6.20 Kotex Super Tampon
$10.40 Tampax Reg. Tampon
(Jul-Sep 2018 version)
FDC PhiladelphiaNo
(May 1, 2016 version)
None listed
(Jun 30, 2021 version)
FCI PhoenixInstitution – No, Camp – No
(Inst – May 2016 version, Camp – Apr 2017 version)
$3.90 Maxi Pads
$5.40 Tampon Reg
$5.40 Tampon Super
$2.40 Panti Shield
(Nov 13, 2019 version)
MCC San DiegoNo
(Mar 3, 2014 version)
None listed
(Oct 18, 2016 version)
FDC SeaTacYes
(Mar 2, 2021 version)
p. 16 “Articles necessary for maintaining personal hygiene to include: soap, toothbrush, toothpaste or powder, comb, feminine hygiene products, and toilet paper are available from the Unit Officer or requested by laundry.”$1.35 Pantyliner
$5.55 Tampon
(Feb 23, 2016 version)
FCI TallahasseeInstitution – No, Center – No
(Inst – Sep 2015 version, Center – Mar 2016 version)
$4.75 Always Overnight
$2.20 Carefree Liners
$9.45 Always Extra Heavy
$5.35 Always Pads
$4.10 Tampax
(Oct 2020 version)
FCI TucsonInstitution – No, Pre-trial – No
(Inst – Jan 2017 version, Pre-trial – 2012 version)
None listed
(Nov 8, 2016 version)
FCI Victorville Medium IIInstitution – No, Camp – No
(Inst – Sep 2015 version, Camp – Sep 2015 version)
None listed
(As of Jul 27, 2021)
FCI WasecaYes
(Mar 14, 2017 version)
p. 5 “Sanitary pads are issued by the institution and made available to all inmates on the housing unit.”$5.30 Always Maxi w/Wings 18 ct
$1.50 Always Panty Liners 20 ct
$5.40 Tampax Original 20 ct
$5.40 Tampax Super 20 ct
(Jun 18, 2018 version)
All information from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice.

The rule regarding access to menstrual products for inmates of federal women’s facilities can be found in the Female Offender Manual.

“Wardens will ensure inmates are provided the following products (at no cost to the inmates):
■ Tampons, regular and super size.
■ Maxi Pads with wings, regular and super size.
■ Panty liners, regular.
Additional products of this type may be purchased and issued by the facility at the discretion of the Warden. Institutions will purchase the products in accordance with National Acquisitions guidance. These products are provided in addition to those required via the standardized gender responsive commissary list.
In issuing feminine hygiene products, staff may not ration these items. For inmates in general population, all products must be made available in common areas, either a bathroom or accessible area of the housing unit. Women must have access to these items at all times of the day and may keep them in their cell, consistent with personal property requirements. Monthly issuance of these items is strictly prohibited, and unit replenishment of supplies must be done with 24 hours of notification that a particular product is lacking. For women in restrictive housing, all five products must be available for issuance on a daily basis.
Misuse of items for other than intended purposes is not cause for withholding access, but is managed via routine disciplinary procedures.”

(p.11, May 12, 2021 version, P5200.07, U.S. Department of Justice)

Additionally the Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Department of Justice issued a Policy Memorandum in 2017 requiring the provision of some free menstrual products at all locations, and it has been renewed every year since. (Most recent memo here)


Page last updated 18 Jan, 2022