The State must improve the collection of data on juvenile justice
These are the last days at the State House before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary and the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security must report on the many bills before them. One of these crucial bills is a law to improve the collection of juvenile justice data, H1794/S1558.
As shocking as it may sound, Massachusetts is among the worst in the nation when it comes to racial disparities in juvenile justice. When and by what causes do these disparities appear? We do not know. Key data is not collected or kept out of public view. This bill has been stalled for 16 years. Who, one must ask, could be against data collection, or against public scrutiny?
It’s time for state legislators to do the right thing for the community (no hidden vested interests) and make this data visible. Where are State Representative Vanna Howard and State Senator Edward Kennedy?
This bill will create opportunities to make the youth justice system fairer and more effective, as the children in our community deserve. Let’s not ruin our children’s future.
State Needs Right to Repair Big Tech Protection
I own a computer and iPhone repair shop called Salem Techsperts in Salem. Being within walking distance of Salem State University, I have served hundreds of students since I opened in 2015. In March 2020 when Apple closed all of its stores and students suddenly became distant only, I remained open to help those who had nowhere to go. I was in charge of fixing people’s devices that weren’t just a phone or a computer, but a lifeline for their loved ones.
I had a client whose broken iPhone was unusable, and her grandmother was in the hospital with COVID. Apple was shut down, nationwide. This iPhone was their only means of communicating with their family. My client came to me in tears, but I fixed the phone.
I will never forget the anxiety I had about the possibility that even though I was using the highest quality parts available to me, that screen would fail and that customer would miss the final moments of the her grandmother’s life, all because Apple refuses to sell us parts. This must not be the case.
There is a bill in our legislature that would give us the ability to buy parts directly from manufacturers, just like your mechanic can buy parts for your car. I call on state lawmakers to support Right to Repair Legislation, S.166. Let’s set a precedent in the country that if we own a device, we should be able to fix it.