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Q: What is the Academy of Training Skills?

A: The Academy of Training Skills is a pre-trial diversion program known as a Judicial Agency Referral Residential Facility. ATS provides housing, clothing, meals, transportation, employment, counseling and education to individuals arrested for a crime who, otherwise, would be placed in our jail and penal systems. We only accept individuals charged with non-violent, non-sexual offenses. Our focus is largely on first time offenders, turning lives around before they reach the revolving door of the penal system.

Q: How does an individual get into this program?

A: An individual may contact his Attorney/Public Defender to meet with the Assistant District Attorney handling his case. They will review the facts of the case, criminal history, etc. and make a determination if the individual is a likely candidate to benefit from this program.

Q: What types of counseling programs are offered?

A: ATS offers Drug and Alcohol Abuse counseling, Anger and Relationship counseling courses. Spiritual Enrichment programs are available through several groups and are encouraged.

Q: What types of training opportunities are offered?

A: Currently, training for residents in Pipefitting, Welding, Electrical, Millwright, Heavy Equipment Operator, and Instrumentation Fitter. Other training offered at ATS is Carpentry, Plumbing and CDL driver training. ATS will soon build its own facility for training on-site. This facility will meet the needs of ATS residents for evening courses and serve the community during the day.

Q: What hourly wage may residents expect in the employment opportunities available?

A: Residents generally start in the 8 – 10 dollar per hour range. Those with skills may receive higher hourly rates. As residents gain a skill through training and experience, ATS places them in jobs where they can receive the highest pay available.

Q: What is the fee for this program and who pays?

A: A flat fee of $62.50/day per resident is charged to the resident. This amount was approved by the Louisiana Legislature and includes costs of housing, clothing, transporting and providing basic needs to the residents.

Q: What guidelines does the Academy of Training Skills adhere to?

A: ATS follows the General Provisions of the Judicial Agency Referral Residential Facilities Regulatory Act. The Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections has overview and authority over the program. ATS is currently a member of the American Correctional Association and is seeking Accreditation through that respected organization. We are ACA accredited

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ATS Do Not Receive State, Federal, or Parish funds.