HOUSTON – In a small office northwest of downtown, a Harris County Sheriff’s Office chaplain is helping inmates erase their past – one tattoo at a time.
Wayne Heintze and his wife opened the laser tattoo removal office last July to help inmates find a fresh start.
“This has been funded by our back pocket,” Heintze said. “It cost us money every month.”
Heintze meets most of his clients behind bars as part of a reentry program that includes drug and job counseling.
Former prostitute Faye Medema came by the office to have an arm tattoo removed.
“Hated by many. Loved by few. I guess I hated myself,” Medema said. “It makes me feel ugly sometimes, and it brings back a lot of memories every time I look at it. A lot of flashbacks.”
Heintze knows that he can’t erase their past, but “you can erase the canvas it was written on.”
"The best part of the story is that we get to hear when people's lives begin to change," Heintze said.