Safety . Wellness. Justice
What is CARD?
The ongoing over-involvement of people with unmet behavioral health needs in the criminal and family justice systems, paired with housing instability and health systems strained by overuse of emergency departments and inpatient psychiatric services has led to a crisis. At its core, CARD is confronting this crisis by leading the development of new ways of working across justice, health, and human services systems. CARD looks to expand the lessons learned during 20+ years of Wellness Court success to increase public safety and achieve better outcomes for the thousands of York Countians with unaddressed or underserved behavioral health concerns.
What specific conditions is CARD responding to?
- The opioid epidemic
- The increasing incidence of use of other drugs
- Rising child abuse and/or neglect related to parental substance abuse
- The number of people with both mental health disorders and substance use disorders involved in the justice system
- The number of individuals presenting at hospital emergency departments and inpatient psychiatric units in behavioral health crisis
- The persistence of a silo-based structure of health, justice, and human services programs that fragments services
- Justice and health systems that are not structured or equipped to facilitate early intervention, that nonetheless bear significant costs of the lack of that intervention
CARD is an initiative of the York County Criminal Justice Advisory Board. CARD is funded through a mix of public and private funding and in-kind support.
Need for CARD
The Power of Diversion
The York County community is no different from many others in that individuals with complex behavioral health needs often end up in the justice system and frequently experience bouts of homelessness as well.
CARD works to do this by directing individuals to behavioral health care no matter where they are in the justice system.
21% of York County residents do not know how to find a mental health provider, and 29% believe they cannot afford mental health services
In York City in 2020, 32% of individuals who experienced a drug overdose were on supervision through the County’s Department of Probation Services and an additional 28% had been on supervision at some point as an adult. Just over half had at least one period of incarceration as well.
About one third of people incarcerated locally have identified behavioral health needs.
About two thirds of people who leave prison will return within three years.
Addressing core drivers is the key to breaking these cycles.
Prevention, Deferral & Diversion Partners
Many in the York County community are already working hard to alleviate these pressures. CARD’s goal is not to minimize, duplicate, or replace these efforts. Instead, CARD builds bridges between them and lays a firm foundation of shared goals, metrics, and data/records management to support everyone working in this area. With a shared vision, coordinated effort, constant communication, and trust, we can achieve a complete and total positive shift in how the York County community supports its members with unmet behavioral health needs.
Here’s how to find out more:
The York County Criminal Justice Advisory Board has prioritized diversion of people with unmet and underserved behavioral health needs from the justice system into treatment for many years. Many diversionary programs have their roots in CJAB activities while other prevention and deferral efforts are rooted in public health and human services initiatives. The organizations, programs, and initiatives above all intersect with CARD’s work to connect people to care in order to address core drivers of justice involvement.
In 2017, the Honorable Craig T. Trebilcock, a member of the York County Court of Common Pleas’ criminal bench, faced a growing realization that most of the people coming through his courtroom were struggling with trauma, addiction, or other common behavioral health problems. His observation was quickly paired with recognition that most of these people would likely not be back again if they were able to get help earlier.
From there, Judge Trebilcock called on the criminal and family benches, the Probation Services Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the Human Services Department and public health officials to come together and design a systemic solution to a systemic problem.
- York County Department of Probation Services
- York County District Attorney’s Office
- York County Court of Common Pleas
- City/County Public Health
- York County Department of Human Services
- York/Adams Mental Health-Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
- York/Adams Drug & Alcohol Commission
- WellSpan Philhaven
- And many more!
How CARD Benefits the
York County Community
- Prevention of crime as core drivers of negative behaviors are addressed
- Early interventions that save lives
- Fewer people locked in cycles of behavioral health crisis and incarceration
- People restored to their families and communities
- Getting better results for government spending on courts and incarceration
- Reduced strain on justice, health, and human services systems
CARD Financial & In-Kind Support
CARD’s work is possible through the support and generous contributions of:
- York County Bar Foundation
- County of York
- Warehime Foundation
- Powder Mill Foundation
- Glatfelter Foundation
- WellSpan Philhaven