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For many people, tattoos are more than just ink on the skin. They carry meanings far beyond the words and graphics, while some even embody memories from a painful past.

Here at the Finery, we understand what it means to be carrying around those burdens on visible body parts such as the hands, face, and neck. For many who were formerly incarcerated, have been in gangs, or have survived human trafficking, these tattoos are not only a reminder of their struggles but also prevent them from moving on with their lives. 

For example, with a visible tattoo, they can’t pursue certain career paths, such as joining the military or becoming a flight attendant. Not to mention, social stigmas around people with tattoos on their face, neck, and hands often make it difficult to reintegrate into society. 

Former inmate Shane noticed that people’s reactions to his tattoos were either repelled or standoffish. Mark Drevno, the executive director of the nonprofit Jails to Jobs, noted that “[Visible tattoos] are real job stoppers.”

That’s why we started the INK (I Now Know) program as a community outreach initiative to provide safe, effective, and free tattoo removal on the hands, neck, and face to those who are ready to turn a new leaf in their lives.

What’s the INK Program?

This program offers free face tattoo removal, hand tattoo removal, and neck tattoo removal to those who were formerly incarcerated, have been in gangs, or have survived human trafficking. We donate a free tattoo removal treatment through this program to every new customer that uses our laser tattoo removal service.

The goal of this program is to help participants erase daily reminders of their darker past so they can make room for a brighter future and a better version of themselves.

The program is available at four of the Finery’s locations: New York, Boston, Buffalo, and Philadelphia. It has empowered over 100 people who have the courage to change their lives.

INK Day at the Finery

February 10, 2020, is INK Day at The Finery. Current INK Program clients will come in for their sessions, while prospective INK clients will have the opportunity to register and begin their laser tattoo removal treatment.

In a similar event, the National Tattoo Removal Day that took place on August 14, 2019, the Finery’s Boston and New York offices treated a total of 20 INK clients. Meanwhile, our Philly location was in the spotlight, getting visits from both Fox29’s Good Day Philadelphia team and NBC10 news to feature our special guest, Terrance Lewis, who was wrongfully convicted and spent 21 years in prison.

How Do I Join INK?

The INK program is for those with visible tattoos on their face, neck, and hands. You’re qualified to apply if you have been previously incarcerated, are a former gang member, or are a survivor of human trafficking.

You can apply for the INK program by filling out the form on this page. You’ll be asked to share some personal information, select a location for your treatment, provide some details about your tattoo (e.g., size, color, location), and answer a few questions about how your tattoo is affecting your life.

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