This article tells the stories of several convicts who became successful after their release, including one who eventually became Chief of Police. But there are several things about this article that are odd. For one thing, there is a drawing with the caption “This Picture Taken Just After Release.” But it’s not a photo. It’s a sketch. Was the sketch done just after release? Or is the sketch based on a photo?
And then there are the kids. One photo shows two disheveled children with the caption “A Convict’s Family.” Then there is another photo of the same kids all cleaned up and smiling. The caption says, “The Former Convict’s Children After the Father Made Good.” But the kids don’t appear to have aged, and they look like they were photographed in the exact same place as their “before” photo. What kind of chicanery is this?
None of the reformed convicts are mentioned by name. Only an initial is given. So I couldn’t look any of them up to verify the Times’ reporting. Perhaps the article is accurate, and the illustrations were embellished for illustrative purposes only. Or maybe the pictures are accurate representations, and it’s just the poor reproduction of the page that makes it appear questionable. I can’t say for sure, but my gut tells me there’s something fishy going on.
1910 needed the nytpicker.
FORMER CONVICTS WHO HAVE PROVED SUCCESSES: When the World Gave them a Chance After Coming From Prison They “Made Good,” and Are Now Respected Citizens. (PDF)
From September 11, 1910