Free tattoo removal to transform lives
This company is giving free tattoo removals — and new leases on life — to people who were incarcerated, survived sex trafficking, or are hoping to leave a troubled past behind.
INK program provides a second chance
Free tattoo removal program
The Finery is a tattoo removal studio with thirty-five locations in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Buffalo. They even have mobile units that travel throughout the northeast providing their services. What is really special about them is their INK program. The Finery’s INK program (an acronym for I Now Know) is an initiative for providing free tattoo removals to people who were formerly incarcerated, gang members, or survivors of human trafficking. This company was created in 2011 and prides its ability to give customers a second chance at life with this independently funded program.
“When other people recognize me, they'll speak to me and they'll talk to me like all the other guys. And I guess as soon as they see my neck it’s like, “This guy's a gangster or criminal or something, you know, because who would put a tattoo on a night like that?” But then I realized that I did that when I was younger, not thinking, and not something to scare people. I'm actually trying to join the Navy and the Navy, they're OK with tattoos. But the neck area, when you are a soldier or when you're in uniform, I should say, you represent something and you represent an image. And that being on your neck gives off a different image,” Jose Rodriguez shares the prejudice he faces for his tattoo with Brut.
INK program information
With the average tattoo removal session taking 8-10 sessions and costing around $2,500, the program has completed 75 removals since its creation. The process includes consultation and aftercare supervision. With Vice reporting that many inmates often brand each other with sewing needles and electric toothbrush contraptions, and end up regretting their ink, Finery Founder and CEO Carmen Brodie is currently working towards bringing a free pre-release tattoo removal program to Massachusetts’ prisons.