Elizabeth Hardison

Elizabeth Hardison

Elizabeth Hardison covered education policy, election administration, criminal justice and legislative news for the Capital-Star from Jan. 2019-April 2021. You can find her on Twitter @ElizHardison.

Facing pushback, Montgomery County lawmaker drops proposal to add mandatory minimums to some gun crimes

By: - December 16, 2019

Mandatory minimums have fallen out of fashion as states including Pennsylvania attempt to reduce prison populations amid a decade-long drop in violent crime rates. 

Wolf, lawmakers announce new panel to study juvenile justice system

By: - December 16, 2019

The new advisory panel is the result of a partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts, a Philadelphia-based research and public policy organization. 

PHEAA, explained. How an obscure Pa. state agency became one of the nation’s biggest student loan servicers.

By: - December 13, 2019

Borrowers across the country say PHEAA’s failure to accurately track their loan payments made them ineligible for loan forgiveness.

Montgomery County lawmaker moves to add mandatory minimum sentences to criminal justice bills 

By: - December 12, 2019

Rep. Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery, may face opposition from criminal justice reform advocates, who say his proposal stand to drive up prison populations

‘This is not a reform bill’: Big changes to probation, sentencing reform legislation draw ire of advocates.

By: - December 9, 2019

Advocates, such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Pa., withdrew their support for the reform bills after Monday's vote.

What’s holding up appointments on this powerful state education board?

By: - December 8, 2019

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh taxpayers have been paying for tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills in still-unsettled dispute.

Pardoned by Wolf, Philadelphia man’s prison release blocked by decades-old theft charges

By: - December 6, 2019

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said he was warned weeks ago that the Delaware County DA might pursue charges against David Sheppard.

Wolf commutes 8, brings clemency total to 19, the third-highest among Pa. governors

By: - December 6, 2019

With the stroke of a pen on Thursday, Gov. Tom Wolf cut short sentences for eight people serving life in Pennsylvania prisons. Wolf signed off on eight commutations on Thursday, according to a statement by his office — an action that will allow the recipients to walk free after spending decades incarcerated. All of the […]

‘A complete breakdown’: Pittsburgh charter school’s case is still stuck before state appeals board

By: - December 4, 2019

The third time may be the charm, but not for Pennsylvania’s Charter School Appeals Board.  The six-member appeals board found itself once again hamstrung by legal precedent at its meeting in Harrisburg on Tuesday, when it was unable to render a verdict in an appeal brought by Propel Schools, a network of Pittsburgh charter schools.  […]

Amid opposition from physicians, Wolf signs bill tightening opioid prescription rules

By: - December 1, 2019

“opioid treatment agreements” will require patients to say they understand the risks of highly addictive opioid drugs and consent to periodic drug testing to prove they aren’t misusing them.

Criminal sentences are down in PA, and three more takeaways from an annual report

By: - November 27, 2019

Criminal justice reformers say it’s not all good news. Diversionary programs remain woefully underused, they say, and data show that thousands of people are going to prison for technical violations of probation.

Pennsylvania physicians announce support for safe injection sites

By: - November 25, 2019

In Philadelphia, these sites could save 24 to 72 lives a year and $74 million in health care costs, research showed.