UPDATE: This was our annual April Fools Day story. We hope you enjoyed it. It is not true.

Original Story:

State officials have approved funding for area jails and prisons to bring in free licensed tattoo artists for inmates.

It’s part of an effort to prevent inmates from infecting themselves with blood-borne pathogens, which comes from using ball-point pen ink and crude make-shift needles.

A similar effort is being considered by surrounding states as government officials try to find creative ways to spend money from the federal government’s $1.9 trillion stimulus, according to a press release dated April 1.

“This new program will keep inmates safe from disease and employ local tattoo artists who may have seen a dip in business during the pandemic,” said David Crockett, with the U.S. Department of Corrections. “It’s a win-win scenario and a great use of taxpayer funds. Prison tattoo guns can be dangerous. I have several tattoos myself, but I got them done safely from an experienced professional.”

Any inmate who is 18 and older will qualify for the free tattoos, Crockett said. Detainees can provide their own designs or work with the tattoo artist. Tattoo images cannot contain nudity or obscene language.

Jail administrators and prison wardens must give priority to inmates who have earned credits for good behavior, Crockett said.

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