Tats behind bars: getting inked for a great cause

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Times have changed, as more individuals are going under the needle to get inked up. But if you're looking for a tattoo experience like no other, you can get it done behind bars, right on Washington Avenue.

From prison bars and an electric chair to police officers and inmates, an HPD officer known as B.K. to his clients opened Prison Break Tattoos two-and-a-half years ago. It combined his love and passion for theater, arts and tattoos.

"What could I do with my background in the arts? What could I do with my background with the police department and first responders to make something different that would be fun, family friendly?" BK told us.

A large majority of those who walk through the door are firefighters and police officers -- district attorneys.

But not just from Houston -- some come from all over the world.
BK explained, "We've done tattoos for people from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We've had officers from Australia."

Jennifer Beaver didn't travel that far for her tattoo. An officer herself, she's paying homage to her partner with the tattoo she's getting.

"I'm a K-9 handler for a police department. I spend most of the time with my dog, and he walks with me most of the time," Beaver said.

Boot and paw prints on her calf represent how close she is to her K-9 and partner, Hondo. A portion of the cost from her ink, along with every other tattoo created here goes toward a great cause.

BK said, "As you know, The 100 Club supports the families of those officers and those firefighters, first responders who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, who are killed in the line of duty. So a portion of each of my tattoos, every single one that we do form the moment that we've opened our doors goes to The 100 Club."

BK feels it's important to give back. They're his brothers, sisters and family.

"It's a blue line. It's a red line, and once you gain the love for that family and the family gains that love for you, you're always family," BK explained. "A majority and a large part of the things we do are tribute or memorial tattoos."

Everything from memorializing fallen officers or firefighters, to 9-11 tribute tattoos holds a special meaning to the individual getting it done. But you don't have to be on the force to get inked up. BK says he welcomes ink lovers from all walks of life to come in to check out this different and unique experience.

"It's a fun environment that will definitely leave you talking."
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