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New Castle prison offering tattoo removals

Posted at 10:31 PM, Dec 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-07 22:31:19-05

NEW CASTLE, Ind. -- The Indiana Department of Corrections is offering inmates an opportunity for a life-changing cosmetic procedure.

The New Castle Correctional Facility has a tattoo-removal program that has become very much in demand.

"The self-confidence part it brings out of not having a tattoo … it's definitely worth the process, 100 percent," said inmate James Lewis.

Lewis has spent the past 10 years of his life in prison. His tattoos no longer reflect who he is as a person. By enduring multiple laser removal sessions, he says he is showing he's changed on the inside as well as out.

"I woke up one day and I was like, I didn't want to be 30- or 40-years-old with tattoos on my face," Lewis said. "Presentation is everything in this world. When you're a confident person, it exudes and everybody understands that."

Inmates pay $5 for each session. The prison commissary fund picks up the other $45 cost. As many as 50 inmates are enrolled in the program, with another 125 inmates on a waiting list.

"The guys are happy," said laser technician Jay Williams. "They want to get it done before they get out so they don't have any other roadblocks in their way. Just make it real for them to get out, get a job and reintegrate back into society."

Right now, the New Castle Correctional Facility is the only prison in the state that offers inmates a chance to physically erase part of their past.


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