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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Bennie Davenport vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Bennie Davenport

South Carolina Department of Corrections



Grievance No. ACI-0675-00

I. Introduction

This matter is a challenge by Bennie Davenport (Davenport) to a calculation of sentence as determined by the South Carolina (DOC). Having reviewed the record, applicable law, and the briefs filed by the parties in this matter, I conclude DOC's decision must be affirmed.

II. Analysis

In general, an inmate may appeal a final decision of DOC to the ALJD if the matter is "non-collateral" (i.e., a matter in which an inmate does not challenge the validity of a conviction or sentence). Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000). More particular to the instant case, the ALJD has jurisdiction over inmate appeals that assert an error has been made by DOC in the calculation of an inmate's sentence. McNeil v. S.C. Dep't of Corrections, No. 00-ALJ-04-00336-AP (S.C. Admin. Law Judge. Div. Sept. 5, 2001) (en banc). In the instant case Davenport argues DOC has wrongly calculated his sentence. Thus, jurisdiction is present in the ALJD.

When reviewing a DOC sentence calculation decision, the ALJD sits in an appellate capacity. Al-Shabazz, 338 S.C. at 377, 527 S.E.2d at 754. Thus, the review is confined to the record Id. 527 S.E.2d at 750. In making the review, the ALJ must be mindful that a traditional "hands off" approach exists on discretionary decisions resulting from internal prison policies. Al-Shabazz, 338 S.C. at 382, 527 S.E.2d at 757; see also Pruitt v. State, 274 S.C. 565, 266 S.E.2d 779 (1980) (stating the traditional "hands off" approach of South Carolina courts regarding internal prison policy). However, such a deferential standard of review does not preclude a reversal of the DOC determination. Rather, the ALJ conducts a review of DOC's actions to ensure the inmate grievance is addressed in a fair, reasonable, and efficient manner. Al-Shabazz, 338 S.C. at 383, 527 S.E.2d at 757.

In this case, Davenport argues DOC is incorrectly computing his "max-out" date due to DOC incorrectly adding time to his sentence due to violations. I disagree.

DOC computes an inmates "max-out" date premised on the inmate earning the statutory maximum amount for good behavior. However, if during the period of imprisonment the inmate is found guilty of violating DOC policy, the inmate does not earn credits for the month of the violation. Thus, the max-out date previously computed becomes incorrect. Therefore, DOC "adds" additional time to the max-out date to reflect the fact the inmate failed to earn credits during a specific period.

In the instant case, the record shows that Davenport failed to earn good time credit of 320 days and lost 980 days for a total of 1,300 days. Such adjustments are supported by the records of DOC and no basis warrants adjusting DOC conclusion.

III. Conclusion

The claim raised by Davenport does not result in a change in the sentence calculation made by DOC. Accordingly, DOC's decision is AFFIRMED.




Administrative Law Judge

Dated: January 22, 2003

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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