Crime and the Amish Community

The Amish community live by a different set of rules when it comes to crime and punishment–God’s rules. Amish value religion over all else. In addition, they stress forgiveness over anger. The English justice system looks very different from what most Amish encounter. Amish have no courts and no punishments attached to a given crime. The perpetrator is forgiven if he professes repentance before the church community, stated sociologist Deborah Morse-Kahn. Morse-Kahn has studied and written about the Amish. Being shunned by the community, is the closest thing to punishment for a repeat offender. This can be either temporary or for good.

crimes against Amish in buggies such as these
Horse and Buggy Crimes

Crime within the Amish community is exceedingly rare, said Mark Loudew. Loudew is a University of Wisconsin-Madison student who studies Amish language, healthcare and legal issues. Violent crimes committed by English against Amish are more common but still rare said Loudew.

Amish were harassed and also victims of ill treatment during the two World Wars. Their practice of nonviolence was primarily why this harassment occurred. At a national level, violence against the Amish is rare, said Steven Holt. Holt is a history professor at Mennonite Goshen College in Indiana. He said the most famous case occurred on October 2, 2006, in the Nickel Mines community of Lancaster county Pennsylvania. The Lancaster area had been known for a low crime rate, Holt said.

Amish buggy crimes

Several Amish horse and buggy armed robbery crimes were attempted. Money was demanded when the buggies were stopped. These occurred in Michigan, Gladwin and Clare counties. They’re very quiet people who stay to themselves. It is unusual for someone to victimize them in crimes such as these said Pete McNamara of the Michigan state police.

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In Amish community crimes, often times the Amish experience crimes around Halloween. People are out playing pranks. Also, high school kids look at them as freaks. They’ll vandalize a buggy or push it into a ditch said Ruth Irene Garrett, a writer who was born into the Amish community.

One of the central tenets of the Amish faith is nonviolence. They are a largely peaceful group. That’s why crimes such as the following are disturbing. Charged in the incident were three youths. It was in connection with a series of crimes against the Amish community in Steuben County, New York. Sheriff’s deputies said youth ran over and smashed numerous mailboxes. In addition, they drove through yards and pumpkin patches.

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The Amish are not immune from the troubles of the law despite their simple lifestyle and friendly nature. Crimes, though rare, that are most often committed by local members of Amish orders are drunk driving along with sex abuse.

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