It is a well known fact that the majority of gang members have distinctive tattoos bearing the marks of their group. But for those who want to leave the gang lifestyle, removing the ink that associates them to their gang is a lengthy, painful and pricing process - until now.

A new program, The Tattoo Removal Program, is designed to help former gang members become part of society again in a positive way. From white supremacists to Hispanic gangs, they’re making their ink and their lifestyle a thing of the past.

tattoo removal

Former East Side Locos gang member Enrique Martinez, 25, is eliminating negative signs of his life. Here to erase the letters ESL, three dots representing “my crazy life,” and his nickname Cholo — three gang rebellious tattoos he’s had since he was 13 years old.

I was on the streets, using drugs, hanging out with the home boys, incarcerated due to gang violence, just very lost,” said Martinez.

In conjunction with Eagle River Medical Aesthetics, Second Chance Grace offers the low-fee tattoo removal program for anyone who qualifies through a screening process. “If they have something from being productive from working in society, that’s where we want to help,”  said Second Chance Grace Tattoo Removal Program Director Peter Vasquez.

Second Chance Grace says the response of its tattoo removal program has been overwhelming, there’s now a waiting list. The church plans to offer more sessions on a monthly basis.