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.

Pennsylvania inmates and correctional officers share a common pain: suicide

By: - August 13, 2019

A corrections officer at Camp Hill prison in Cumberland County was making an evening security check on June 2 when he found Carlton Madden, a 41-year-old Steelton resident, unconscious in his cell. Prison medical staff pronounced Madden dead that evening, and the Pennsylvania State Police launched an investigation. His death was ruled a suicide, according […]

Pennsylvania set up a tip line for school threats. Instead, students overwhelmingly called with mental health concerns

By: - August 8, 2019

While demand for mental health services outstrips access in Pennsylvania, state lawmakers in recent years haven’t increased spending.

Embattled Democrat Daylin Leach draws another primary challenger

By: - August 5, 2019

Linda Fields, a longtime political activist and labor organizer, announced Monday that she’ll challenge embattled Democrat Daylin Leach to represent parts of Delaware and Montgomery counties in the state Senate. That’s the same Linda Fields who, just last year, unsuccessfully tried to unseat Republican Sen. Bob Mensch in the state’s 24th Senate District. Fields moved […]

Sentencing algorithms like the one under development in Pa. are ‘deeply flawed,’ researchers say

By: - July 30, 2019

Pennsylvania judges were supposed to use tool to dole out fairer sentences. But a growing body of evidence suggests such tools are deeply flawed.

A new state grant program will help poor defendants in capital punishment cases. Why aren’t reformers satisfied?

By: - July 30, 2019

The only problem, according to criminal justice advocates? It’s not nearly enough money.

Many clergy abuse victims can’t sue their abusers. Will a new legal strategy change that?

By: - July 24, 2019

On Tuesday, Diocese lawyer Matt Haverstick said the legal strategy “wouldn’t hold water.”

Pennsylvania has a ‘patchwork’ of local policies for storing rape kits and collecting anonymous evidence. A new law could change that

By: - July 19, 2019

A new law will require all rape kits collected in Pennsylvania to be stored until the statute of limitations on the incident expires: 12 years for adult rape victims. 

Wolf pitches $4.5 billion infrastructure plan as way to expand broadband access in Pa.

By: - July 18, 2019

It could cost as much as much as $715 million to bring high-speed broadband to every house in the state, according to Wolf’s office.

The common denominator in Pennsylvania’s veteran suicides? Firearms, experts say

By: - July 16, 2019

In 2016, 236 veterans died by suicide in Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Cash bail, explained: How it works and why criminal justice reformers want to get rid of it

By: - July 14, 2019

Pre-trial detention is supposed to keep the public safer and make sure people show up for court. But the Pennsylvania branch of the American Civil Liberties Union argues that Philadelphia’s cash bail system does neither, and instead “effectively criminalizes poverty.” 

Pennsylvania’s small cities are strapped for cash. Can lawmakers help them make ends meet?

By: - July 12, 2019

Officials representing Pennsylvania's small cities say they need increased taxing authority to help make ends meet.

$317 million deposit to Rainy Day Fund will protect taxpayers in economic downturn, officials say

By: - July 9, 2019

By the time Pennsylvania wrapped up another fiscal year on June 30, the state had generated a surplus of more than $800 million — the result, officials say, of strong corporate tax revenues and record-low unemployment.  Some of that money had to cover costs that the state budget hadn’t anticipated. But $317 million went into […]