Prisons grapple with tattoo problem

Tattoo artists tagged with rule violations 10,000 times in three years.

Ohio prison inmates are tattooing their bodies using devices pieced together from everyday materials, even though getting inked in unsterilized environments such as prison cells can lead to the spread of bacteria and infectious diseases, including Hepatitis C and MRSA.

Data obtained by the Dayton Daily News show prison officials during a three-year period filed nearly 10,000 code of conduct violations against Ohio inmates for possessing items that are used to create body art. Thousands of other internal charges were filed against inmates for getting tattoos.

Treating prisoners for Hepatitis C, MRSA and other infections can be pricey, and prisoners who develop health problems from unsterilized equipment can face long-term consequences, including liver disease and early death.

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