PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Corrections says it will now provide free tampons as well as sanitary napkins to each female inmate in state prison.

Wednesday’s announcement comes a week after the department announced it would triple the number of free sanitary napkins it automatically provides. The department previously only provided free tampons when medically needed.

The number of free napkins was increased from 12 to 36 a month to head off a Democratic proposal in the Legislature to provide unlimited free tampons, pads and other feminine hygiene products. Inmates could get more free napkins if needed but could only possess 24 at a time.

Democratic Rep. Athena Salman was pushing the proposal to provide unlimited hygiene products to about 3,900 female inmates at the state’s women’s prison west of Phoenix.

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