Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 245
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 245
labor.” If “the street” had been written across it in capital letters, it could not have been made plainer. Less than 15 per cent of the prisoners came from good homes, and one in sixty-six (1.51) had kept good company; evidently he was not of the mentally capable. They will tell you at the prison that, under its discipline, eighty odd per cent are set upon their feet and make a fresh start. With due allowance for a friendly critic, there is still room for the three-fourths labelled normal, of “natural mental capacity.” They came to their own with half a chance, even the chance of a prison. The Children’s Aid Society will give you still better news of the boys rescued from the slum before it had branded them for its own. Scarce five per cent are lost, though they leave such a black mark that they make trouble for all the good boys that are sent out from New York. Better than these was the kindergarten record in San Francisco. New York has no monopoly of the slum. Of nine thousand



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