Melissa I. Mackey has been a researcher, analyst, and policymaker in various state agencies as well as the non-profit sector for over 20 years. Ms. Mackey currently serves as the Director of Research at the NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services, having joined the agency in 2016 as a Senior Research Associate on the Hurrell-Harring Implementation Team. Melissa began her professional career as a Program Administrator for the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence assessing the impact of New York’s Mandatory Arrest Provisions, and then moved to the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services where her research focus shifted to assessing New York’s newly created Integrated Domestic Violence Courts. Immediately prior to joining ILS, Ms. Mackey was the Research Director at the New York State Defenders Association where she assessed county expenditures for public defense services as reported through the Indigent Legal Services Fund Annual Reports, and analyzed caseloads for the Appellate Division, 1st Department, Indigent Defense Organization Oversight Committee Biannual Reports.
As the Director of Research at NYS ILS, Ms. Mackey’s focus is on creating a comprehensive research agenda that unifies the agency’s empirical research and data reporting activities to provide critical information to various stakeholders that supports policy development aimed at improving the quality of representation statewide, while further elevating ILS’s research platform within the public defense community.
Melissa Mackey holds a B.A. in Psychology from Hofstra University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Ms. Mackey graduated from the University at Albany, School of Criminal Justice, with a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, where she was the Michael J. Hindelang Doctoral Fellow during her first year of study. Melissa is active in her community, currently serving as the Board President for The Baby Institute, an Albany based non-profit, and previously serving on the Boards of both the Albany YMCA and the Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region. Ms. Mackey also serves as Chair of the John F. Finn Institute’s Institutional Review Board. Ms. Mackey was also elected to the City School District of Albany Board of Education where she served as Vice-President (2009) during her four-year term. Ms. Mackey was formerly a lecturer at the University at Albany, the College of St. Rose, and Excelsior College where she taught courses on the American criminal court system, juvenile delinquency, and interpersonal/family violence.