Andre Morris is the director of re-entry services for Trinity Alliance. He works with more than 100 individuals at the Albany County Jail.
"A majority of them have [a] background being convicted of marijuana," Morris said.
Trying to get people on the right track, Morris is seeking to learn about Albany County's Clean Slate Program. It is one of the options District Attorney David Soares discussed at a public meeting on changes in marijuana prosecution Wednesday night.
"Think about the relief that it's going to bring about to those people who have been laboring under these convictions," Soares said.
Since December 1, Albany County prosecutors have stopped pursuing cases with marijuana possession under two ounces. Soares says his staff is beginning to go through simple marijuana possession cases already in progress, looking to dismiss them.
"We're encouraging people who are watching here, who may have a file open in Albany County, a case that is pending, to reach out to their attorneys," Soares said.
Even with these changes, Soares says smoking marijuana in public, around children, or while driving, will still be prosecuted. In the meantime, those convicted on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge may have their records sealed or expunged, through the clean slate program.
"We want to make sure that folks aren't getting convicted and become warehoused again through the criminal justice system," Morris said.