By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Corrections is seeking applicants for a highly specialized job — tattoo supervisor.

The corrections department posted the job late last week, and are holding open for applications through April 28. The job would be a temporary position lasting for up to three years, working to establish a tattoo and body art studio within the state’s network of correctional facilities.

“You will serve as the expert technical resource for other project and agency staff involved in the design and implementation of the body art pilot project so that a licensed body art studio is established and incarcerated men and women are trained and supervised in the art of tattooing,” the job description reads.

DOC spokesperson Nick Kimball said there are two reasons for establishing this program.

“Our responsibility to the people of Minnesota is to help people transform their lives while they are in prison because about 95% of all incarcerated people in Minnesota prisons will eventually be released back to the community. One of the most significant risk factors contributing to re-offending when people get out is lack of employment. People with felony and incarceration histories face significant barriers to employment,” Kimball said. “But the tattoo industry is one field where opportunities can be found. So creating a licensed tattoo establishment in our prisons to offer a path to becoming a licensed tattoo technician will provide another potential employment opportunity upon release for those who participate, with the goal of reducing recidivism.”

The other reason for starting the program is that there is widespread illegal tattooing in prisons, with prisoners using unsterile materials and techniques.

“The transmission of Hepatitis C and other bloodborne pathogens is often a result of unsterile tattooing. The cost of treating Hepatitis C ranges from $20,000 to $75,000 per person. We treat 80-100 incarcerated people for Hepatitis C each year,” Kimball said. “By reducing the potential for transmission of bloodborne diseases, we are creating a safer environment for everyone, including our staff, and also being more prudent with taxpayer dollars.”

The job lists a potential salary range of roughly $59,000 to $87,000 annually. The person they hire would work mainly at the Stillwater facility, but would be required to travel up to 15% of the time.