Former District Attorney Matthew T. Mangino with his wife, Julie.

Former Lawrence County District Attorney Matthew T. Mangino has been named to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.

Mangino, 43, was recommended by Gov. Ed Rendell and confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate Thursday.

This morning, Mangino said the appointment offers him an exciting opportunity.

For the past three months, he has worked for the National District Attorneys Association, based in Alexandria, Va. He said he expects to wrap up projects he is involved with in the next few weeks.

His family, still in New Castle, had anticipated a move to Virginia.

“Now we’ll have to weigh our options and decide if we will be relocating to Harrisburg,” he said.

The probation and parole board, Mangino said, has its home base in Harrisburg, but requires considerable travel.

“Since the governor’s recommendation and Senate’s confirmation, there has been a holiday and things have gone slowly,” he said, adding he has met with board chairwoman Catherine C. McVey.

The parole board, he said, “is a working board that reviews everyone in the state’s correction system who is eligible for parole.”

That involves more than 20,000 people each year, he noted.

Mangino said he anticipates his work will involve reviewing files, video conferences and hearings. The board also sets policy on probation and parole issues.

Mangino said he expects to become involved with preparing individuals to re-enter the world after they leave prison, recidivism and ending continued victimization.

“These are issues that I am familiar with after working as a district attorney,” he said. “I’m pleased to be involved with this process.”

Rendell praised Mangino’s “innovative programs and pro-active approach to combating illegal activity.” This, he said, helped to alter the way crime is addressed in Lawrence County.

Mangino has 18 years experience in the legal field.

A graduate of Westminster College and the Duquesne University School of Law, Mangino had a private practice for 14 years — from 1989 to 2003. He served as an assistant public defender from 1989-90, and was the Lawrence County solicitor from 1992 to ’96. He was elected district attorney in 1998 and re-elected in 2002.

He is a regular contributor to Pennsylvania Law Weekly and has appeared on CNN, Court TV, Fox News and MSNBC.

Mike Smith of the governor’s press office said the board does not have a regular schedule of meetings, but members generally put in 50 to 60 hours per week.

The term for board members is six years. Mangino is filling a vacancy that has been open for about six months, but Smith said he is not filling another member’s uncompleted term.

Smith said the executive branch — meaning the governor’s office — sets the salary for board members.

Mangino’s annual salary will be $108,734, according to Lauren Taylor of the parole board staff.

The nine-member, independent, administrative board of probation and parole was created in 1941.

To qualify, members must have at lease six years of professional experience in parole, probation, social work or related areas, including one year in a supervisory or administrative capacity, and a bachelor’s degree.

Board members may not hold any other office or employment and are not permitted to take any active part in politics.

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