Maine Lawmaker Is Making Some People Shake Their Heads
Republican state Rep. Richard Pickett from Dixfield is making some people shake their heads.
According to the Maine Beacon, during a hearing on whether Mainers in jail should be guaranteed access to basic menstrual hygiene products, Pickett said (you may want to sit for this) that he thought a rule like that could make the prison system seem too much like a "country club."
His actual quote, according to the Bangor Daily News reporter Alex Acquisto,
"Quite frankly, and I don't mean this in any disrespect, the jail system and the correctional system was never meant to be a country club..they have a right to have these&they have them. If that wasn't the case, then I would be supporting the motion, but they do."
What kind of country club does he belong to?
A representative for Pickett reached out to Newsweek, which also wrote about the hearing, and said that "menstrual products were 'readily available' free of charge in prisons and [Pickett] did not see the need to turn existing prison practice into law."
Pickett also said during the hearing: "I just think where it’s sometimes when you have to look at things, and when you have something that is working and something that is there, you can’t continue to micromanage the jail systems. These people are there. They run these jails and I think they do a good job at it, so that’s the reason for our ought not to pass."
State representatives voted 6-4 to advance the bill.
In 2017, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said they would guarantee free menstrual products for all women, according to the Beacon, but there's no policy for state prisons and county jails.
Needless to say, some people were left shaking their heads wondering... well, wondering a lot.