Don't try this at home. Seriously. Below is a tutorial video for how to make a prison-style tattoo machine provided by A&E for its shocking new show 60 Days In. Tattooing in prison is done using only a pen, Walkman, batteries, paper clips and rubber bands. While the iconic black-and-grey fineline tattoo art style was invented and blossomed in the California penal system, channeling our inner-Lou Brown, "great, but don't ever do that again." We fear the spread of disease through tattooing in non-sanitary environments like a prison cell of the basement or the local scratcher's mom's house.
However, the video is a fascinating look into life behind bars, much like 60 Days In. The docu-series, airing on A&E Thursdays 9/8c, follows seven innocent participants who signed up to become part of the prison population of the Clark County Jail (Jefferson, IN), "in an effort to expose internal issues and what really happens behind bars. As a result of the facility’s recent corrupt history, Sheriff Jamey Noel devised this program where participants lived among the facility’s general population for 60 days without officers, fellow inmates, or staff knowing their secret."
*One more word of warning before watching. Yes, the video calls it a "tattoo gun." Yes, we know that the proper term is a "tattoo machine." Before you blow up the Facebook post with pseudo-elitist comments, please take a second to recognize that in many prisons they are called guns. So this what is in the video is more accurately identified as a tattoo gun than a tattoo machine.
Check out a preview for 60 Days In. If you can't make it through watching for a minute-and-a-half without shuddering, imagine spending two months in the clink.
Thinking about getting your first tattoo? Don't do it at someone's house. Check out our tips before you get inked.