Some clients have made unfortunate choices and some, unfortunately, had little choice when they had gang tattoos or other negative images emblazoned onto their skin. Now, years later, they have reason to want to separate from that lifestyle. But it is difficult with the reminder of a visible tattoo.
U.S. Probation in the District of Kansas has teamed up with the Topeka Police Department to develop TRIP: Tattoo Removal Incentive Program. USPO Diana Kerns spearheads the project. "I think it has been an amazing program and has helped the clients with a fresh start." She helps make arrangements and accompanies the clients to their appointments every six weeks.
To be eligible, the tattoos must be anti-social, gang-related, and prevent individuals from finding employment or otherwise interfere in the individual's life. The clients, of course, have obligations, such as sobriety, no more tattoos, and compliance with supervision. Also, they must complete 30 hours of community service before beginning the removal process.
"These type of visible tattoos often create roadblocks for individuals wanting to make meaningful changes in their lives. . . " Tattoo removal often breaks the connections to the elements that caught them up in the criminal justice system.
This program has received positive press coverage, here, here, and here. For more information, contact Diana Kerns.
And thanks to Diana her work and commitment to this program.