Prior to being elected to the Mansfield Municipal Court in 1999, Judge Ault was a Richland County Prosecutor for 21 years. After being elected to the Bench, Judge Ault began a progressive approach that brought many changes to his courtroom. These innovations have earned him recognition as a judicial leader throughout the State of Ohio.
Realizing the need for alternative sentencing, Judge Ault introduced several specialty courts, which operate as specialized units within the court. Participants agree to comply with strict supervision and treatment requirements. These courts increase collaboration between the court and treatment providers, which has been proven to be cost-effective and reduces recidivism.
Judge Ault first instituted a Mental Health Court. Realizing that a large percentage of defendants suffer from mental illness, these offenders are required to complete treatment for their mental illness. The treatment program is less expensive than incarceration. His Mental Health Court is the third such court in the State of Ohio.
Judge Ault added a Domestic Violence Court in 2008. It was the first in the State and one of the first in the U.S. Although it also incorporates treatment, it is a far more punitive program than his other specialty courts.
The most recent specialty court Judge Ault added is Veterans Court. It was also the first in the State of Ohio and one of the very first in the Country. Judge Ault feels that many veterans’ returning home from combat suffer unique problems incurred as a result of their service to our Country. For this reason Judge Ault considers it the duty of society and of the Court to incorporate treatment with justice.
These innovations have earned Judge Ault recognition as a judicial leader throughout the State of Ohio. Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton and former Attorney General Richard Cordray have called Judge Ault a leader and pioneer within the Judiciary. The Ohio State Supreme Court uses Judge Ault’s specialty dockets as model courts. Over one hundred law enforcement and court personnel, including judges, have visited his court.
Including the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Court that Judge Ault inherited, he is the first Municipal Court Judge in the United States to conduct four specialty dockets. His leadership and approach to the diverse causes within the Judicial System has made a real difference in countless lives for the betterment and safety of our community.