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Points North, Ep. 16: Jailed and Ignored

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Aaron Selbig
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Grand Traverse County jail.

This week on Points North, former inmates of the Grand Traverse County Correctional Facility claim their basic hygiene needs are sometimes ignored. IPR talked to half a dozen women who say it could take hours for officers to bring them feminine hygiene products.

Ignored requests for pads at GT jail left women in bloody pants for hours, former inmates say
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Credit Courtesy of Jennifer Honeysette and Kelsey Buttars
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Jennifer Honeysette (left) was incarcerated in the Grand Traverse County jail in 2018. Kelsey Buttars (right) was there in 2017. They both describe female inmates waiting for hours for feminine hygiene products.

IPR began investigating conditions in the Grand Traverse County jail last year. More than a dozen former inmates say a handful of corrections officers at the jail ignore their basic needs. They say it can take hours, days or weeks to get items like soap, a toothbrush and feminine hygiene products.

“We are females. We cannot prevent this situation,” says former inmate Jennifer Honeysette. “We can’t just say, ‘Hey, we’re in jail. Let’s not have a period.’”

Hear former inmates recount their experiences and the Sheriff’s response.

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Morgan Springer is a contributing editor and producer at Interlochen Public Radio. She previously worked for the New England News Collaborative as the host/producer of NEXT, the weekly show which aired on six public radio station in the region.