The Tattoo Removal Program was started by Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in 1998 to address gang violence in the northeast San Fernando Valley. The program provides free tattoo removal treatment for individuals who desire to remove visible gang-related or anti-social tattoos. These individuals find that their tattoos prevent them from finding good jobs and/or make it difficult for them to make positive changes in their lives.
Many clients referred to the program are former gang members or people coming out of the prison system, though that is not required to be eligible for this program. Clients must complete community service for each tattoo removal treatment that they receive.
Thanks to a team of dedicated physicians who volunteer their time, the laser tattoo removal treatments are provided at no cost to adults who qualify for the “community service”-based program.
In addition to the tattoo removal services, the program staff has been trained to serve as gang intervention specialists. They work in partnership with community-based organizations, local law enforcement and the parole department to address gang violence in the community.