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Joseph Mancini

Joseph Mancini Schenectady

Joseph Mancini is a highly regarded and accomplished public service professional with a distinguished career spanning over three decades. Throughout his journey, Joe has displayed an unwavering commitment to serving the public and effecting positive change within communities. He has demonstrated adeep dedication to ensuring the well-being and rehabilitation of at-risk youth. With a profound understanding of juvenile law, policy, and best practices, Joe has spearheaded transformative initiatives to enhance the fairness and effectiveness of juvenile justice programming in Schenectady County and Statewide.

As a visionary leader, Joe has held several influential positions within various government agencies and non-profit organizations, where he has been instrumental in designing and implementing evidence-based programs that focus on prevention, intervention, and diversion for youth involved in the justice system. Joe joined the Schenectady County Department of Probation in 1989 as a probation officer where he eventually assumed the position of Director of Probation and Deputy Commissioner of Youth and Families for the Schenectady County Department of Social Services.  In those roles, Joe had administrative oversight of the County’s probation department and the Center for Juvenile Justice.  An innovative  collaborative model that co-located child welfare case workers, probation officers, mental health professionals, and substance abuse service providers.

During his tenure with Schenectady County, Joe led several initiatives that significantly reduced overreliance on institutional placements, resulting in substantial cost savings to taxpayers and enhanced public safety.  Joe focused on reinvesting funds toward effective family and community-based programming.

In early 2005, Joe led a coordinated planning process to assess the state of juvenile delinquency and better address violent juvenile crime within the City of Schenectady. This was a grant funded initiative through the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). To move this process forward, Joe established the City of Schenectady Juvenile Crime Enforcement Coalition (JCEC) Advisory Board that included representatives from the Schenectady City Police Department, Family Court, Youth Bureau, Probation and Social Services Departments, County legislature, County Manger’s Office, Hamilton Hill Neighborhood Association, and the Schenectady City School District. This initiative analyzed and assessed juvenile delinquency issues and risk factors in the City of Schenectady, and developed recommended targeted interventions that resulted in a reduction from 610 juvenile delinquency intakes in 2005 to 320 juvenile delinquency intakes in 2008.

Joe secured several grant awards from state and federal agencies including; NYS OCFS’ Mental Health/Juvenile Initiative, NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternative’s Juvenile Intensive Supervision Initiative, NYS DCJS’ Youth Violence Reduction initiative, NYS DCJS Reginal Youth Justice Team Initiative, NYS DCJS’ School-based Arrest/Diversion Initiative, U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Center for Coordinated Assistance to States’s Multi-System Collaboration Training and Assistance Program (MSC-TTA), and Vera Institute for Justice’s re-entry/aftercare initiative.

Joe’s dedication to restorative justice principles has earned him recognition and accolades from his peers and community leaders.  He has been a driving force behind the collaboration between stakeholders, including law enforcement, educators, social services, and mental health professionals, to create a holistic approach to juvenile justice that emphasizes treatment, education, and community engagement. His steadfast devotion to advocating for vulnerable youth and ensuring their access to fair and equitable treatment placed Joe at the forefront of shaping policies and practices throughout NYS that fostered a just and compassionate juvenile justice system. Joe led and participated in several successful statewide juvenile justice reform initiatives including the NYS Strategic Planning Action Committee (SPAC), which created a regional planning approach to juvenile justice reform. As part of that initiative, he implemented and led the Capital Region Youth Justice Team (CRYT), a nine county multi-jurisdiction of state, county and local government agencies, area schools, and community-based agencies that serve the youth justice population.

In 2014, Governor Cuomo appointed Joe to his Youth, Justice and Public Safety Commission, which was charged with the task of developing a plan to raise the age of criminal responsibility in NYS. Joe received several awards throughout his career including:

  • 2021: Berkshire Farm Services for Youth’s Annual Staff Resiliency Award,
  • 2015: Youth Advocate of the Year Award, Families Together,
  • 2015: Capital Region Youth Justice (CRYJT) Recognition Award,
  • 2012: Suicide Prevention Center of New York, Excellence in Suicide Prevention
  • 2007: Distinguished Community Service Award, Psychological Association of Northeast New York
  • 2006: Human Rights Achievement Award, Schenectady County Human Rights Commission
  • 2005: James A. Stamper Community Leadership Award: Schenectady County NAACP

In 2015, Joe was appointed by Governor Cuomo to the position of Associate Commissioner over the Office of Community Partnerships for the NYS Office of Children and Family Services’ Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth (DJJOY). There, he was responsible for the supervision and oversight of DJJOY’s re-entry/aftercare programming. In that capacity, Joe designed and implemented the NYS OCFS’ Aftercare/Re-Entry Model that serves the entire State of New York.  Joe recognized that after years of NYS investing mainly in system-run efforts, or contracts with large social service agencies, a better avenue was to reinvest these funds from the justice system back into the communities most impacted by incarceration. A key program developed from that reinvestment is the Community Credible Messenger Initiative (CCMI).  The Community Credible Messenger Initiative (CCMI) approach is built on engaging Credible Messengers through local grassroots neighborhood organizations.

In his role as Associate Commissioner, Joe also oversaw the Supervision and Treatment Services for Juveniles Program (STSJP). STSJP provides funding to municipalities to incentivize the development of local programs that divert youth from detention and residential care. Joe was able to expand program eligibility to include all major decision points in the juvenile justice system. The program currently provides funding to 57 Counites in the State of New York.

Joe retired from government service in 2019. He then served as the Director of the Capital District Juvenile Secure Detention Facility until Sept 2022 prior to joining the Social Enterprise and Training Center (SEAT) as Sr. Program Advisor.

Joe is a life-long resident of Schenectady.  He attended city public schools including Linton High School, which is now Schenectady High School.  Joe received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Buffalo State College, and his master’s degree in social work from Fordham University.

Schenectady City Democratic Committee
Schenectady City Working Families Party
Schenectady County Conservative Party