Northern Branch Jail Launches Tattoo Removal Program

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Northern Branch Jail Launches Tattoo Removal Program
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Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has launched an inmate Tattoo Removal Program at the Northern Branch Jail (NBJ).

On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, Dr. Bernard Weinstock performed the first round of tattoo removal treatments for an inmate at the NBJ. This program has been made possible through a partnership with Doctors John Baeke and Bernard Weinstock, who attended special training on how to use the Tri-Beam laser tattoo removal machine.

The purpose of the Tattoo Removal Program is to assist the Sheriff’s Office in the rehabilitation of inmates by removing tattoos or body art that may be deemed socially unacceptable and which could hinder their ability to reintegrate back into the community. The Sheriff’s Office mission through this program is to help eliminate barriers which could hamper the inmate’s successful re-integration into society.   

The NBJ Inmate Services Program plans to offer these treatments to inmates, free of charge with appointments on a weekly basis. Criteria for participation in this program include participation in rehabilitation programs, no current discipline reports, and sentencing must be finalized with sufficient confinement time to complete the tattoo removal process.

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Lucky 777 Jul 02, 2022 10:01 AM
Northern Branch Jail Launches Tattoo Removal Program

The technical detail that is important is that blasting the skin with lasers destroys the natural pigment layer in the skin as it explodes the tattoo pigment. So in a dark skinned individual what was a black tattoo will now be a reverse image, a silhouette in scar tissue paler than the surrounding skin. Before the laser technique was developed it was common for the prison system to hire tattoo artists to do "cover-ups" by putting a new non-identifying tattoo on top of the previous. This was done to reward snitches, to conceal their identity as they were sent to a new prison after giving incriminating testimony against a gang.

Dr. Baeke Jul 08, 2022 07:14 AM
Northern Branch Jail Launches Tattoo Removal Program

Sitting on the sideline reading so many naive comments... so here you go. The program is designed to laser-remove ONLY those visible tattoos which are socially-unacceptable and threatening:

a. to SBLET: I believe one of the missions of incarceration is rehabilitation, reformation and reintegration into society, which (contrary to your prejudice) many inmates truly want. What business would hire an ex-con with (for example) a swastika on his forehead?
b. to Luck: A little bit of knowledge is dangerous. First, your concern is not unknown by laser physicians. This is why test patches are performed prior to treating an entire tattoo. Next, you are assuming all inmates have dark skin... which would be wrong.
c. to NotReal: If eliminating the visible socially-unacceptable tattoos... not the "I Love Mom" and cartoon tattoos, but rather the gang symbols or Fu-- Y--... can decrease the rate of recidivism, then isn't that tax $ well spent? Compare that to the cost to taxpayers to imprison 1 person for 1 day! An employed ex-con is much less likely to be a repeat offender than one unemployed roaming the streets.

Rather than sit on the couch and gripe, get up and do something to make society better. I believe this program is going to be quite successful as have similar programs in other communities.
-John Baeke, MD

bicyclist Jul 08, 2022 09:19 AM
Northern Branch Jail Launches Tattoo Removal Program

Thank you SIR! Greatly appreciated -John Baeke, MD.... "Just the facts ma'am" Dragnet? is actually “All we want are the facts, ma’am”, I've relearned something today.

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