Lake County Youth Benefit from Unique Tattoo Removal Program

Judge Stefaniak Jr.

To give Lake County youth a second chance to eliminate ill-advised tattoos that can adversely impact their lives, the Lake County Superior Juvenile Court launched the Lake County Court Tattoo Removal Program. Influenced by a bad tattoo he received when he was 17, Senior Judge Thomas P. Stefaniak Jr. of the Lake County Superior Juvenile Court launched this first-in-the-state initiative with award-winning artist Donald Frey to give LakeCounty youth a second chance to remove inappropriate tattoos.  In addition to being free for LakeCounty youth, this service is also available to adults at a discounted rate. “This is not an anti-tattoo program,” Judge Stefaniak said. “Adults can make choices about tattoos that are appropriate for their lifestyles, but youngsters may make bad choices that can impact them socially or affect future job opportunities.” Neither teens nor adults need to have cases before the court to be eligible.  Lake County youth up to age 18 can have body art designs removed on their hands, faces and necks in a free service by laser removal donated by Frey, the owner of Bugaboo Arts, with shops in Hammond and Merrillville.  Profanity, gang signs or unsightly body art can adversely impact a youngster’s life in ways he or she may not realize until they are older, Judge Stefaniak said.  Since the program was launched in January 2014, nearly 100 youngsters and an indeterminate number of adults have benefited, Frey said. For details on eligibility, call Lenise Towarnicki, administrative assistant, at (219) 660-6964.

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