SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – According to a local non-profit, Louisiana has 32,000 people who are incarcerated. They say more than 18,000 are released every year, but 43% end up becoming repeat offenders.

‘Right on Crime’ partnered with the city of Shreveport to shed light on the importance of hiring the formerly incarcerated. Four members of Thursday’s panel discussion spoke about how their lives changed after businesses took a chance on hiring them.

Deputies from the Caddo Sheriff’s Office, Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond and Mayor Adrian Perkins also attended the event.

“We host forums throughout the state, trying to educate employers in the area. Shreveport, Caddo has one of the highest admissions to our prison system. So we’d like to address Caddo and Orleans, those parishes,” said state director Scott Peyton.

The next forum will be held next Thursday in New Orleans.