Elkhart County Jail offers free tattoo removals

NOW: Elkhart County Jail offers free tattoo removals

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind.--- The Elkhart County Jail is partnering with the Vista Community Health Center to offer free tattoo removals for inmates. The program is for inmates who are nominated by the Elkhart Prison Ministry who would like hand, face, or gang tattoos removed.

The Elkhart County Jail began providing removal services last year, but soon realized it needed an option for those who needed continued treatment outside of the jail.

“Right away we were thinking, ‘Okay, we’ve gotta help them once they get out of jail to continue this process,’” said Holly Young, a tattoo removal technician.

Robert and Lisa Gunnoe are technicians who also provide their services to the program. Both are former inmates who are using their life experiences to give back.

“It just feels like whenever I’m taking someone’s tattoo off, it feels like God’s grabbing my heart and squeezing it,” said Robert Gunnoe. “It’s such an amazing feeling.”

Volunteers and former inmates agree that these tattoo removals are a big step in making the most of the second chance that the rehabilitated former inmates are receiving.

“They get that tattoos off and it feels like anything is possible. You can go out and do anything and I feel like it’s just going to be a complete game changer.”

These services are free to inmates while they are still serving time at the Elkhart County Jail. Donations are encouraged, but not required for participants who are visiting the Vista Community Health Center.

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