PAMPHLETS FOR A BETTER HUMANKIND Addressing The Micro- And Macro-Problems Facing Humankind, And Providing Achievable Solutions; Going Where The Politically Correct Dare Not. (While the SOLUTION offered herein may not be a panacea, and may be provocative, it is offered as a positive step to correct the problem presented.)
REMOVING TATTOOS TO REDUCE PRISON VIOLENCE
David Scott Harrison, (c) 2008
Gangs dominate and control the prisons of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDC&R"). It is gang "business" that is the impetus of virtually all prison violence. Gang members are easily identifiable by their tattoos. Indeed, as a condition of surviving in prison, gang members readily submit to needle-and-ink, staining more and more of their skin with crude simulacrums of weapons, blood, ghouls, naked women in degrading poses, skulls, and insignias of affiliation and territory and hate. Far from enforcing regulations prohibiting the giving or receiving of tattoos, CDC&R staff can be observed admiring the body-art and/or comparing their own tattoos to those of the prisoners. Prisoners are rarely punished for giving or receiving tattoos; to the contrary, tattooing is treated as such a minor infraction, that it is not uncommon for a prisoner to turn in a broken or otherwise worthless tattoo "gun" to a confederate Officer for the purpose of receiving a Rules Violation Report (CDC&R-115), thus raising his points to avoid transfer to a lower level prison (e.g., dormitory living). Every day prisoners can be seen sporting newly received tattoos, brazen and conspicuous, on their faces, overlaying their backs or covering their arms and legs. Tattoos are flags of loyalty, badges of honor to such individuals.
THE SOLUTION is to enact a law mandating that every person sentenced to prison for two years or more, excepting prisoners on death row or sentenced to life-without-parole, would submit to having all his/her tattoos removed prior to release. The CDC&R would provide on-site facilities, hire professionals in the field of tattoo removal, and purchase all necessary equipment and supplies required for the safe removal of tattoos; prisoners refusing tattoo removal would be placed in the Security Housing Unit until such time that the prisoner willingly submits to the removal of his/her tattoos; no prisoner would receive any good-time credits off of his/her sentence during any period of refusal; no prisoner would be released from prison until all tattoos had been removed; and all costs of said removal would be paid to the professional by the CDC&R as services are rendered but such costs would be placed as a permanent charge (referred to by the CDC&R as a "Hold") against the prisoner's Trust Account, and moneys collected therefrom in the same manner that other Holds are collected.