Thumbs up: To the York County veterans treatment court, which lawmakers are citing as an example that should be followed across Pennsylvania to divert those who served from incarceration.
The 2-year-old court, one of four in York County that give low-level offenders a chance to avoid jail by entering a treatment program intended to address the underlying causes of their criminal behavior, saved taxpayers nearly $1 million last year.
Court studies also have shown the rate of recidivism, or repeating offenses, are significantly lower for those who have completed the intensive treatment program.
The local veterans court, overseen by Common Pleas Judge Craig T. Trebilcock, who served in the Army for 24 years and still serves in the Army Reserve, has been so successful lawmakers in both chambers are pushing bills to mandate all counties create their own.
State Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/York, is planning to introduce the Senate version, while state Reps. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City, Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, and Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, are supporting the House bill.
Beyond the savings, the courts provide a service to veterans who are dealing with issues resulting from their time in the military, Teplitz said.
"The idea is to deal with those issues in a way that helps the veterans and helps them stay out of interaction with the criminal justice system, using an intervention model instead of an incarceration model," he said.
Were it not for such courts, "these people would be sitting in jail," Schreiber said. "Instead you're seeing stable, contributing members of society ... because we're intervening and really helping to provide course correction and break negative behavior patterns."
Thumbs up: The Made in America tours, which wrapped up a four-day run Saturday, helps show the rest of the world what our region is made of — or what we make, to be more precise.
The tours promote York's tagline as the factory tour capital of the world, and showcase large manufacturers like Harley-Davidson Inc. in Springettsbury Township to smaller operations like some of our area's family farms.
Twenty-seven local businesses participated in this year's event.
Many of those companies tatke part in the tours to increase brand awareness, said Anne Druck, president of the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"We've seen a boost to businesses during the event, and there's also a residual boost. Businesses get exposed to customers, and they remember those businesses," she said.