Jacob A. Riis (18491914). The Battle with the Slum. 1902.
were provided for him. But it was true. Except for the risk of the burglar, the jail was preferable by far. The woman into whose hands the management of the truant school fell, made out, after little more than a years experience, that of twenty-five hundred so-called incorrigibles, the barest handfulscarce sixtywere rightly so named, and even these a little longer and tighter grip might probably win over. For such a farm school is yet to be provided. The rest responded promptly to an appeal to their pride. She made it a personal matter with each of them, and the truant vanished; the boy was restored. The burglar, too, made it a personal matter in the old contact, and the result was two burglars for one. I have yet to find any one who has paid attention to this matter and is not of the opinion that the truant school strikes at the root of the problem of juvenile crime. After thirty years of close acquaintance with the child population of London, Mr. Andrew Drew, chairman of the Industrial Committee of the School Board, declared his conviction that truancy is to be credited with nearly the whole of our juvenile criminality. But for years there seemed to be no way of convincing the New York School Board that the two had anything to do with one another. Even now it seems to be a case of one convinced against his will being of the same opinion still,