Finding Funds

While these programs offer prominent benefits to gang members, it is hard to receive any sort of fixed funding because of no formal evidence of the programs’ success. The expensive procedure that private practitioners offer may range anywhere from $150 to $500 per tattoo removed, and the total cost may sum to exceed several thousands of dollars depending on the number of tattoos a member wishes to be removed. Due to the cost, many former gang members cannot afford to participate. To mitigate the cost of the programs, alliances are formed between community service agencies, volunteers, hospital donations and local and federal grants to fund the expenses. These organizations and individuals join such causes as they wish to make a difference within their respective communities and others around the nation who are subjected to the violence of gangs. When and if programs gain the proper funding, the Doctors that perform the procedures volunteer their free time during weekends to offer these services. But their time spent is worth while according to one Doctor (remains unnamed) who performs the removals “I work hard, you know, and giving up Sundays is a big deal. But, I never go back to work Monday tired. There is a bounce in my step, and it’s because I’ve just done what I think is a wonderful thing.” (Burke 5). Another Doctor, David Crosby a medical dermatologist at the Wisconsin Medical College, is offering free tattoo removal to gang members because he believes “it will benefit them in leaving that bad life style behind… We’re trying to use people who have taken steps to change their lives”. When Dr. Crosby states that he wants to choose the right people, he refers to the fact that he wants members most at risk to be involved with the Wisconsin program due to a lack of sufficient removal resources.


-Alex D.

Works Cited:

- Burke, Todd, Ph.D. “Erasing the Past: Tattoo-Removal Programs for Former Gang Members.” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin: Criminal Justice Periodicals. August (2008):n. pag. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

- Tattoo Removal. October, 2009. JPEG File.