By Camaron Abundes
MIDLAND- In the Permian Basin's booming economy just about anyone can find a job but for some people on the job hunt; vulgar, racist, and gang related tattoos may spell unemployment.
District Judge Robert Junell worked with Midland Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department and Ector County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, along with the Texas Tech Health Science Center to create the Permian Basin Tattoo Removal Program.
Judge Junell's vision took three years to come to life. Now the program is already helping a handful who want to say good bye to their past by erasing the images on their arms, hands and face. The program is designed to help former gang members or those who have prison tattoos.
"Part of our job is to make people successful and I think this is one of the things to help do that," Judge Junell said, "If they voluntarily want to get rid of these tattoos, we want to help them do that."
The machine a TOBIL (Tattoo Obliteration by Infrared) attacks the tattoo by targeting it's color.
"It creates a white light, it creates the energy to create a second degree sunburn, and you do it in a polka dot fashion," Mel Bullock with the Texas Tech Health Science Center, said.
Each session is 50 dollars and doctors say three usually do the trick. You can ask your parole or probation officer for more information. The program is open to anyone with visible gang or prison tattoos, or if a tattoo is hindering employment.
"Is it going to be instantaneous that you are going to be a new person? No, but it is a way to assist them into becoming a new person."
For more information, call 686-4060.