In this module, you learned how empathy influences interactions between victims of crime and criminal justice professionals. You will now have the opportunity to see how empathy and actions can greatly impact the outcome of a situation. The use of virtual reality to train police officers through a series of scenarios dealing with potentially violent situations has allowed officers to use tactics demonstrating empathy to improve outcomes. It’s important to remember that individuals with serious mental health issues can be victims in potentially violent situations, especially if criminal justice professionals do not respond accordingly.
For this discussion, you will watch two examples of recorded training sessions. Note that you will observe the scenarios and choices presented in the training, but you will not actually interact with the training. In each of the scenarios, you will see a demonstration of the use of empathy and what can occur when empathy is not used in interactions. First, watch both scenarios. You can select either the autism scenario or the schizophrenia scenario to respond to, but it’s important to watch both. Then, choose one of the scenarios to respond to:
- Video: Autism (4:01). A captioned version of the video is available: Autism(CC) (4:01)
- Video: Schizophrenia (4:09). A captioned version of the video is available: Schizophrenia (CC) (4:09)
In your initial post, identify the scenario you selected. Analyze and describe how law enforcement demonstrated empathy in the interaction. Discuss alternative outcomes that could have resulted if the officers did not demonstrate empathy with the individuals they encountered. What would you have done differently?