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Interventions to improve empathy awareness in sexual and violent offenders : conceptual, empirical, and clinical issues
journal contributionposted on 2010-05-01, 00:00 authored by Andrew Day, Sharon Casey, A Gerace
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.