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Brewer-Smyth Kathleen
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: December 2006
Neurological Correlates of High-Risk Behavior: A Case Study of Alphonse Capone: PDF Only


Neurological impairment, traumatic brain injury, and childhood trauma and abuse are all associated with violent and high-risk behaviors among prison inmates. This case study examines the medical history of a notorious criminal—Alphonse Capone. Records suggest an association between Capone's declining neurological condition and an increase in high-risk behaviors. Prison, criminal, media, and medical records from the National Archives and other sources were studied to identify relationships to current research data describing neurological abnormalities of prison inmates. Healthcare providers can play a critical role in identifying at-risk youths, potentially reducing the incidence of high-risk behaviors associated with both crime and infectious disease transmission.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Kathleen Brewer-Smyth, PhD RN CRRN, at She is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.

© 2006 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses