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Understanding and Meeting the Needs of Formerly Gang-Affiliated Youth Through Tattoo-Removal Services

NCJ Number
Journal of Gang Research Volume: 21 Issue: 2 Dated: Winter 2014 Pages: 17-32
Sonia Jain; Adriana Mercedes Alvarado; Alison K. Cohen; Quamrun Eldridge
Date Published
16 pages
This article discusses tattoo removel of urban gang-affiliated youth to help them accomplish their ambitious educational and occupational goals.
Urban gang-affiliated youth are highly vulnerable but rarely identified as a public health priority. Two-thirds of Alameda County youth in the juvenile justice system surveyed expressed interest in tattoo removal to help them accomplish their ambitious educational and occupational goals. In response, the Alameda County Public Health Department created Project New Start, based on the framework of youth development and resilience, which provides tattoo removal, case management, and youth development services to formerly gang-affiliated youth. Participants ranged in age from 13-27 years, were majority female, and highly racially/ethnically diverse. The authors recommend that practitioners and policymakers create community-based, multipronged strength-based approaches to violence prevention, positive youth development, and health promotion. (Published Abstract)