By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS0 — An Illinois lawmaker says there is a forgotten group of people who can calm violence if they are only given the opportunity.

State Rep. LaShawn Ford says former convicts want to help.

READ MORE: Three Shot While Standing On Porch On West Side

At a news conference Saturday morning he spoke on their behalf about what they are capable of and what they need.

READ MORE: As Lollapalooza Ends, Concerns About The Spread Of The COVID-19 Delta Variant Begin

“If they are given a chance, they can help clean up the streets,” he said. “And they are calling for calm in our cities, not just on this holiday but every day. And they’re asking for the state, the city, and the county to support their efforts to cut down on the violence and to make sure that people with backgrounds don’t recidivate because they can’t get a job.”

MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: August Starts On The Cooler Side

Former convicts say since they have left prison, they have married, gotten education and made better lives, but they can’t even find housing because of their past.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff