Revised Procedures for the Northern District’s ATL Court

Friday, June 17, 2022

The Northern District of Georgia has revised the procedures and filing instructions for its Accountability, Treatment, and Leadership Court (“ATL Court”). An overview document with more information is available here. Individuals interested in applying should consult with their attorneys and submit an application as soon as practicable. Instructions for the application are available here. Filing instructions are available here.

The ATL Court provides an alternative to incarceration for federal pretrial defendants who are admitted into the program. The mission of the ATL Court is to give non-violent offenders who would benefit from intense supervision, education, or treatment the opportunity to avoid the life-changing consequences of incarceration. The ATL Court is a collaborative effort between the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the U.S. Probation Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Defender Program. It is modeled after pretrial diversion courts in similar federal districts that have demonstrated resounding success, including the SOAR program in the Northern District of Illinois and the CASA program in the Central District of California.

After entering a guilty plea, each participant is subject to intense supervision and other requirements, including regular appearances before a presiding district judge or magistrate judge, as well as participation in individualized programs designed to address the root cause of their criminal conduct. Such conditions may include substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, employment services, and educational programs. Participants who successfully complete the program, which lasts between twelve and twenty-four months, could earn the imposition of a non-custodial sentence, reduction to a misdemeanor conviction, or even dismissal of the charges. Participation in the ATL Court is very limited and highly competitive.