COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A former Franklin County juvenile judge is weighing in on the current state of youth crime in Columbus. She said in order to see improvements, the courts need to take a different approach.

Just this week, four teenagers have been arrested for violent crimes, including a 13-year-old facing a murder charge.

Yvette McGee Brown became Franklin County’s first lead juvenile judge in 1992. A time when she said juvenile crime was also on the rise. She has been away from the job since 2002 but is still paying close attention.

She said it’s not easy to watch teenagers go through a revolving door in and out of court.

“The pendulum always swings. In the 90s they wanted to identify every juvenile as a super predator, well that’s not right. And it seems like today we want to identify every juvenile as somebody who just needs community care and that’s not right either,” McGee Brown said.

McGee Brown said the courts need to do a better job at tailoring each case to that specific person. She said that is something she put a big emphasis on in her time as a judge.

“I used to take great care in looking at all of the juveniles that came in whether they were held or released and looking at what was their prior record, what was their family situation,” McGee Brown said. “Initially when I made the decision to do that, I was told you’re holding up the system… I said ‘I don’t care.’”

Right now, the courts use a general point system to determine whether to hold or release the juvenile.

McGee Brown said this is fine for the very beginning of the court process, but further down the road there should be more information used than just a number.

She said she also used tough love.

“If I have a kid that’s in for his third receiving stolen property, that kids going to spend time in the detention center. I need them to get a glimpse of what their future looks like,” McGee Brown said.

Mcgee Brown said an ankle monitor is not going to cut it. There have been many reports in the last year of law enforcement saying a juvenile is laughing and not taking it seriously after being arrested.

She said teens are going into the courtroom expecting to go home after. She said if the judges start giving these youth a glimpse of what could happen – maybe reality will set in.

“They need to not have the playbook in advance. They need to appreciate that if they commit a crime, they are uncertain of what might happen, they might not go home,” McGee Brown said.

McGee Brown said this isn’t just a problem here in Columbus, it’s everywhere.

She said it would help if judges, city and state leaders got together to decide a plan of action and fully backed each other on the mission.