Free tattoo removal helps redirect lives

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - For parents struggling to build better lives for their families sometimes a decision made years before can really get in the way.

The wrong tattoo can sometimes advertise a dark past. Tattoos can be a reminder of a past life. One local mother of three would like to forget that. Jessica Smith's past includes heroin and jail. Tattoo Removal Ink can help Jessica put the past behind and move ahead, possibly at the restaurant where she works.

She said, "I have to wear long sleeves keep it covered up, bandaged; still don't like me out front. They want me at the drive through or washing dishes, don't like me to serve where I can make money and take care of my kids."

Director Jo Martin retired from the corporate world and started tutoring inmates. Martin bought the $60,000 cutting edge laser, filed as a non profit, and trained friends in tattoo removal. The laser puts energy into the big particles, shaters them into tiny pieces, and the white blood cells carry them away. It's a painful procedure that is treated like a minor burn.

Most clients need three to eight treatments scheduled six weeks apart. Jessica could see a big difference after one treatment.

The removal is free for ex cons. It would cost thousands to remove a life story in tattoos. Jake Sweeney car salesman Mike Tackett knows some customers were distracted by the tattoos he has to hide. For him, it's about his job but also self esteem and being a role model for his five children.

Jo Martin wants to get a laser machine in every jail. So as the inmates work on their GED's, volunteers can work on their tattoos.

At Tattoo Removal Ink, all clients are accepted. Removal is free for those who have done time.

CLICK HERE to find out more about TRI or make a tax deductible donation.

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