Within the past few years, tattoo removal has become a pretty popular process. Those with ‘tattoo regret’ are able to get their mistakes removed within a few short sessions. What used to be viewed as the stamp of a rebel has changed. In today’s day and age, those getting tattoos aren’t just people in their 20s; it’s anybody and everybody.

But what does this mean for the tattoo removal industry? If more people are beginning to get tattoos, it’s also likely that more people will begin to get them removed. We’ve seen this industry boom, as tattoo removal has surged 440% in the past decade. So, what types of people are getting their tattoos removed? Those in their 30s and 40s are the biggest demographic for tattoo removal, mainly due to job hunting or relationship breakups. Well, there’s a whole new demographic emerging- those in jail.

In 2012, the Los Angeles County Jail implemented a tattoo removal program in hopes of helping inmates better their chances of getting a fresh start in the job hunting experience once out of prison. Most inmates were tattooed with gang or criminal affiliations.

Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Oregon hopes to be one of the next institutions to implement this program. Ann Shindo, the communicable disease and intervention coordinator for the Oregon Department of Corrections, said in a report with The Hermiston Herald, that she has been working on increasing funding for the initiative for the past two years.

Shindo has managed to find those willing to contribute to the program, including Dr. Richard Flaiz, of E.N.T. Facial Plastic and Laser Center in the Hermiston area, who said he would be happy to donate his time and resources to the program. However, one of the biggest problems Shindo has encountered is how to get a laser tattoo removal machine, which ranges from $60,000 to over $100,000.

The Los Angeles County Jail has had enormous success with the program, as over 2,000 inmates have been treated in the two years since its implementation. In her interview with the Hermiston Herald, Shindo said if anyone knows of an agency that would provide funding or services for the program, they should contact her at Ann.A.Shindo@doc.state.or.us.

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