Interventions to improve empathy awareness in sexual and violent offenders: Conceptual, empirical, and clinical issues

Andrew Day, Sharon Casey, Adam Gerace

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    41 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Interventions that seek to increase empathy are a common feature of programs offered to sexual and violent offenders. Yet, there is little empirical evidence to suggest that they contribute positively to program outcomes. This paper explores the rationale for the delivery of empathy training with violent offenders, describes some of the most commonly used approaches, and reviews the current evidence base relating to effectiveness. It is concluded that while there are strong theoretical grounds for identifying empathy deficits as an important area of criminogenic need, there are considerable difficulties in establishing the extent to which the interventions offered in this area might be considered to be successful in reducing risk.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-208
    Number of pages8
    JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
    Volume15
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010

    Keywords

    • Empathy
    • Offender
    • Rehabilitation
    • Violence

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