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    #41363 - 03/14/09 04:36 PM Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT?
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    A debate has arisen surrounding the comments of one local GT advocate. He regularly gets up in front of groups and says that 50% of the country's prison inmates are GT.

    Now, this seems like a lot of hooey to DH and me (and others I've talked to!), and while we appreciate his real point--GT kids are an at-risk population--and would never stand up and argue with him publicly, I worry that his use of what seems to be ridiculous, invented stats actually hurts his message. (Has the guy never watched "Cops"?!)

    Does anyone know where to find some sort of reputable estimate about the percentage of GT prison inmates?

    I Googled it, tried Ask.com, and checked SENG and DavidsonGifted.org. No luck.

    There's a BBC story about the average IQ of British prisoners (around 80), which seems pretty compelling. But it isn't about American prisoners.

    There's this criminology book:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=u07ci3cidVsC&pg=PA173&lpg=PA173&dq=20%25+prison+IQ&source=bl&ots=uBZpbQgKHS&sig=uWNYd3k-KTKpCQ2FA1-nU_pZ3X4&hl=en&ei=NDa8SeXwOIK3twf8qrX3Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result#PPA172,M1

    On page 172, the book indicates a 17-point average IQ difference between habitually offending inmates and the general, non-offending population. Inmates have the lower scores. Still no numbers or percentages, though that difference makes it statistically unlikely that half of all inmates are GT, I would think.

    There's also a book titled Gifted Grown Ups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential that apparently claims 20% of inmates are GT, though even that number seems high to me, and I wasn't persuaded that this was anything but anti-GT propoganda. I'd rather get something from a source that is at least somewhat unbiased, if not actively pro-GT. (Link here: http://school.familyeducation.com/gifted-education/criminology/40932.html )

    I could simply ask him to cite HIS source, of course. But I was hoping to be helpful and not merely difficult...

    Anyone have any sources I could cite?

    Thanks for any help you can offer!
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #41369 - 03/14/09 04:58 PM Re: Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT? [Re: Kriston]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    Not seen that stat before. I've only seen that half of highschool drop outs are GT so some fraction of those might end up in prison.

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    #41374 - 03/14/09 05:15 PM Re: Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT? [Re: Dottie]
    hkc75 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/27/09
    Posts: 312
    I know suicide and depression are risk factors for the GT population. I can believe that statistic of inmates for the sheer fact that so many GT kids get mislabeled ODD when they are merely inquisitive (obviously some actually earn that label, those are not the ones I am talking about). Once you get a wrong label, you might decide it is not worth the effort to change the minds of those around you and you get stuck in a spiral. Many of us have read that GT kids need strong advocates and parental support. I just hate thinking about those GT kids who don't get that.

    Just my $.02. No references to back that up.

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    #41375 - 03/14/09 05:18 PM Re: Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT? [Re: Dottie]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Yes, that's the same link I found, Dottie. We must Google the same terms! LOL!

    But I just don't really trust the primary source they're quoting there. It sounds very negative about GTness. I'd like a more pro-GT source, especially since most of the things I've found indicate a lower-than-average IQ in the prison population. (And that's a factoid that fits with my common sense take on it...)
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #41378 - 03/14/09 05:24 PM Re: Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT? [Re: Kriston]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    hkc: I certainly believe that GT kids are at risk, which is why I never argued publicly with the guy. But prison is a far cry from depression and even dropping out of school...

    Everything I'm reading (except the link that Dottie and I both found, and even that says 20%--much lower than 50%!) indicates that IQ scores are roughly 10-20 points lower in inmates than in the general, non-offending population. That makes it hard to believe that so many could possibly have GT-level IQs, since they would skew the average higher.

    *sigh*
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #41379 - 03/14/09 05:25 PM Re: Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT? [Re: Kriston]
    keet Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/26/08
    Posts: 215
    Logically, that doesn't make any sense to me.

    On December 31, 2007 – 2,293,157 prisoners were held in federal or state prisons or in local jails. (from http://ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/prisons.htm, Bureau of justice statistics).

    If half of those inmates are GT, that's 1,146,579.

    In the general population, 3% are GT. There are 303,824,640 (according to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/us.html) people in the US.
    If 3% of the people in the country are gifted, there are 9,114,739 gifted people in the US.

    That would mean that 13% (1M/9M) of all the gifted people in the US are in prison or jail. Hmmmmm. I'm having a hard time believing that.

    If we just use prison numbers, I get 1,532,817 (same source) prisoners, 766,408 of whom are alegedly gifted. That's 8.5% of the gifted population in jail.




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    #41380 - 03/14/09 05:27 PM Re: Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT? [Re: Dottie]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: Dottie
    GMGA? Great Minds Google Alike!

    It seemed high to me as well. And any such quotes probably don't consider 2E situations, where the other "E" is behavioral. Yet those quotes are thrown out as if every GT kid is at great risk. I mean there are GT kids with serious behavioral/emotional issues.


    Sure. Absolutely so.

    I have no doubt that there are some GT people in prison. But HALF of the inmates? Even 20%?!?

    I just really don't buy it considering the average scores. But I can't seem to prove it...

    Frustrating! frown
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #41382 - 03/14/09 05:29 PM Re: Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT? [Re: keet]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: keet
    Logically, that doesn't make any sense to me.

    On December 31, 2007 – 2,293,157 prisoners were held in federal or state prisons or in local jails. (from http://ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/prisons.htm, Bureau of justice statistics).

    If half of those inmates are GT, that's 1,146,579.

    In the general population, 3% are GT. There are 303,824,640 (according to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/us.html) people in the US.
    If 3% of the people in the country are gifted, there are 9,114,739 gifted people in the US.

    That would mean that 13% (1M/9M) of all the gifted people in the US are in prison or jail. Hmmmmm. I'm having a hard time believing that.

    If we just use prison numbers, I get 1,532,817 (same source) prisoners, 766,408 of whom are alegedly gifted. That's 8.5% of the gifted population in jail.


    Oooh! That helps, keet! I didn't even think about going about it that way. Smart! I'll use that!

    smile
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #41383 - 03/14/09 05:29 PM Re: Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT? [Re: keet]
    keet Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/26/08
    Posts: 215
    I honestly think there's a lower average IQ in prisons just because lower IQ people have fewer opportunities than higher IQ people. Also, lower IQ people are less likely to be able to get themselves out of a bad situation.

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    #41384 - 03/14/09 05:31 PM Re: Anyone know what % of prison inmates are GT? [Re: keet]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I agree. I think there's also a tendency in GT kids for empathy and a heightened sense of justice that tends to preclude many bad acts. Not all, of course, but a noticable tendency.

    So to have 13% or even 8.5% of the GT population in prison? I don't buy it anymore than you do!
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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