Treating the Root Causes

Treating the Root Causes

York County Court of Common Pleas Judge Craig T. Trebilcock began to notice how invisible factors like substance abuse, trauma, mental health disorders, unemployment, and homelessness were driving repeated criminal behaviors.

That’s when the now retired judge started to see the whole person standing inside his courtroom, not just their criminal record.

Judge Trebilcock also recognized that various service systems were unable to break this cycle of reentry. With the support of agency partners and community funders, he created the Community Action for Recovery & Diversion (CARD) program.

With additional funding from the Memorial Health Fund, CARD is now in its third year. Program director, Amy Evans says, “the goal of CARD is integrating justice, health, and human service systems to increase public safety and achieve better outcomes for York County families.”

Data shows that the United States  incarcerates more people than any other industrialized nation. Another  alarming statistic shows that 9 out of  10 people serving a sentence deal with a social determinant of health (SDOH) – nonmedical factors that include where someone is born; lives; attends school; and works. Studies find that criminal behaviors exacerbate these factors.

By offering trauma-informed crisis intervention trainings to law enforcement, officers can recognize when an individual with a substance abuse or mental health disorder can be better served by treatment rather than incarceration. “Instead of booking someone, an officer can now walk them down the hall to the START clinic to receive behavioral health care services,” shared Amy.

CARD’s collaborative partners include York County Reentry Coalition, Probation and Parole personnel, and Wellspan Philhaven’s START program, a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), the first of its kind in south central Pennsylvania. These cross-sector partnerships have proven to be effective in preventing crime, decreasing recidivism, healing trauma, reducing victimization, and restoring people to their families and community. Collaborating to help end the personal and generational cycles of criminal behavior will improve the complete physical, mental, and social well-being of all York County residents.

“It’s working because we’re connecting state agencies with community organizations, including the York County criminal justice system,” explained Amy. “CARD is truly a team effort. We can make  our community safer, by making people safer.” Treating the Root Causes



  • 38% REDUCTION in County Prison population over 10 years*
  • 2600+ EMERGENCY room diversions since 2021**
  • 93% DECREASE in wait times over traditional outpatient treatment**
  • 88% DECREASE in in-patient admissions for Reentry Team clients***

*Data courtesy of CARD & York County Prison. **Since beginning of START clinical operations on 7/21/21 ***6 months pre-incarceration inpatient admissions compared to 6 months post-release.