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DuPage County Jail inmates get gang tattoos removed, look to cut ties with pasts

WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) -- Inked inmates are getting their old jail tattoos removed as part of a new program at the DuPage County Jail.

We met former gang member Erick Eck, whose entire body is covered with symbols of loyalty to the Latin Kings. Eck is one of a dozen inmates who have signed up to have their gang tattoos removed or inked over.

It is an effort to cut ties with their violent pasts and get jobs when they get out of jail.

"This is the first time that I've actually had a chance to get out of it," said Eck.

"It's a material commitment," said DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick. "It goes beyond saying, 'I'm going to do something.' No. 'I'm doing it. I'm getting out today.'"

The jail's new tattoo removal wing is part of a program that also offers job training.

Graduates get help finding jobs and relocating away from their old neighborhoods.

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