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With His Mobile Shop, Denver Man Helps Ex-Gang Members Remove Their Tattoos – Colorado Public Radio

Posted in Tattoo Removal on Feb 27, 2017

…in Greeley, Colorado on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017.

(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)

Bujanda specializes in getting rid of tattoos with a laser.Inside his mobile shop,theres red and white decor. The laser is stashed in a corner near the rear. Next to it is a chair that looks like something youd see at a barber shop. Often sitting in that seatis an at-risk youth or a former inmate having gang tattoos removed.

They call ’em job stoppers,” says Bujanda of the gang-related tattoos.”As soon as employers see something on your hand, on your neck, on your face, they just get leery right away. And they have so many applications to choose from that thats an easy way to get looked over.

Some of this work has been paid for by the state. Colorado has contractedTattooEmergency911to provide tattoo removal services for at-risk youth transitioning to or on parole from the Division of Youth Corrections.

Jesus Bujandastands next to his mobile tattoo removal shop, TattooEmergency911,in the parking lot of a Greeley church on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017.

(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)

Elizabeth Owens, a spokeswoman with the Department of Human Services, says tattoo removal is used “when a youth’s successful transition back to the community may be significantly impeded with large visible gang-related tattoos.

Bujandaworries that if theseindividualsstruggle to find a job they might”make the wrong decisions to be able to survive and end up back in.

That gets to the inspirationfor Bujanda’s business. He has a nephew,whowas imprisoned and had large neck tattoos. After his release, Bujanda’s nephew used vouchers he received from the state to havethe tattoos removed, and getting rid of the tattoos seemed to help his nephew in his job search. Bujanda thoughtif this worked for his nephewit could make a big difference for people getting out of juvenile detention or prison.

His clientele is not always at-risk youth or former inmates. The day he was set up outside the Greeley church, he offered his services to the public. One individual showed up to have tattooed initials of an ex removed.

Carla Molina grimaces as she undergoes laser tattoo removal in Greeley, Colorado on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Molina is not a former gang member.

(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)

Bujanda says it’s a painful procedure.

Have you ever splashed bacon grease on yourself? Add electricity to that,” says Bujanda.”Its an uncomfortable feeling, but it goes really fast.

And it takes time. Clients get one treatment a month. Bujanda says itcan take six months to a year to remove a tattoo, depending on that tattoo’s size and location, as well as the health of the client.

Bujandahopes to grow TattooEmergency911. He’d like to work with prisons in Colorado and he’s looking into expanding into California. For now though, he hangs onto his day job: teaching auto shop at Jefferson High School in Edgewater. He’s been a teacher with Jefferson County for about two decades.

Bujanda spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

Audio from this interview will be attached after noon Tuesday.


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With His Mobile Shop, Denver Man Helps Ex-Gang Members Remove Their Tattoos – Colorado Public Radio

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