Each year, more than 800,000 people are released from federal and state prisons, and an estimated 22% – that’s 176,000 – have visible tattoos. Often, these tattoos—many of which are anti-social or gang-related—prevent previously incarcerated individuals from finding a job. As a result, they’re likely to end up right back in prison, costing state and federal governments billions of dollars each year, not to mention the price of productive lives lost.
Although many of those leaving prison would like a fresh start tattoo-free, getting the ink removed is prohibitively expensive. That’s where San Francisco Bay Area based nonprofit Jails to Jobs comes in.
The organization has created a training program to teach medical professionals, tattoo artists, nonprofit organizations, correctional facilities, and governments how to create a free or low-cost tattoo removal program to serve the communities in which they operate.
“We see that as many as four out of five previously incarcerated individuals who successfully …