What is driving the lawlessness in America? Why are we seeing double digit increases in violent crime, and not just in the big cities like Seattle, San Francisco and New York? Why have we seen such a dramatic increase in attacks on law enforcement?

We talked about that and more with Montana's former US Marshal Rod Ostermiller. He is now the CEO of the Regional Mental Health Center and joined us Tuesday on the radio, one day after the horrific mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas that took the lives of nearly 2 dozen children.

One of the big concerns in Yellowstone County, in particular, is why Billings has turned into the dumping grounds for the state's offenders.

Question from Aaron Flint: "Have we relied too much on treatment? Have we relied too much on these programs to where we're not just putting bad guys behind bars? Because at the end of the day, if they don't ever face any punishment, why would they ever turn their life around?"

Answer from former US Marshal Rod Ostermiller: "Oh, I think we definitely have. I think we need to start looking at detention. We can do some reforms within that environment, and provide more mental health services there which I think are extremely important. But if you're gonna put public safety first, which everyone should do, that's nothing we can compromise on. Public safety begins and ends with a detention component, and then you can work the mental health component."

Here's part of our conversation from Tuesday:

Keep an eye on our "Montana Talks with Aaron Flint" podcast for the full audio coming soon. In the full audio, we talk about how the whole country seems to be going mad. We get his reaction to the shooting in Texas, and more.

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