There are a lot of people out there who have tattoos they’d like removed. We know this not only from studies that have been done but also from the fact that more people end up on the Jails to Jobs website by searching for “tattoo removal” than through any other search words.
For whatever reason people get tattoos in the first place, they often change their minds. It may be that they don’t want to identify with the stigma of an anti-social image or comment or gang affiliation anymore. Or they may be in reentry and want to remove that old prison tattoo. Or they may just not like the way their tattoo looks.
Visible tattoos – on the face, neck or hands – can be an impediment to finding a job. In fact, some job search experts say it’s the greatest impediment. After all, many hiring managers believe, right or wrong, that a tattoo might disturb potential fellow employees or scare customers away.
So if you’re looking for a job and decide you don’t want that visible tattoo any longer, there’s only one option. You have to get it taken off. Laser tattoo removal can be expensive, and in some areas tattoo removal clinics don’t even exist.
Because there is such an interest in laser tattoo removal by individuals visiting our website, and because there was no place to refer them to for such resources, we decided to create a Tattoo Removal Directory to help ex-offenders and others find a clinic that has a free program or at least one that they can afford.
Although our recently launched Directory of U.S. Tattoo Removal Clinics is still in beta and definitely a work in progress, it already has 140 clinics in 19 states, plus Washington, D.C.
You can search the directory by city, zip code or program name to find the one nearest you that meets your requirements. Most of these are designed to, at least in part, assist those with low incomes. Some give discounted rates or work on a sliding scale (depending on income or situation), and others are free of charge but may have age restrictions or a requirement that the person no longer be affiliated with a gang and/or require a certain number of hours of community service be performed by those who get their tattoo(s) removed.
Currently about 40 percent of the clinics listed are in California, but we’d like to expand to as many states as we can and include as many places as possible. If you work at a program that you would like to add to our database or know of one that you think should be included, there’s a link on the directory introduction page where you can fill out the information.
For those who actually use the directory to find a clinic, we would really appreciate feedback on your experience of getting your tattoo(s) removed.
To search our directory, visit www.jailstojobs.org/wordpress/tattoo-removal
$10-$20 can make a difference and provide funding to send job search books to prison and jail libraries and expand our tattoo removal outreach.