According to a 2016 Anti-Defamation League study, there are nearly 100 white supremacist prison gangs in the United States of America.While many members believe in the ideology, others join racist gangs as a survival tactic. To show their loyalty, members get tattoos representing their gang identity – a decision they often regret once they gain their freedom and rejoin society. Rehabilitated individuals, trying to set out on a new life path, are left with permanent reminders. One tattoo shop, however, is working to help give these individuals a chance at that new start.
Dave Cutlip, owner of Southside Tattoo in Baltimore, Maryland, has made it his duty to transform racist and hurtful tattoos. No questions are asked, no judgement is placed. What he can’t cover up is surgically removed, thanks to donations to his non-profit organization Redemption Ink. Over the past year, Cutlip’s efforts have received a great deal of attention. Now, he has set his sight set on working with other tattoo shops all over the world, to make sure that more people have the opportunity to move past bad decisions. Full Frame caught up with Dave Cutlip and a client, in this week’s Close Up.