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2010-UP-278 - Jones v. SCDC

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Dyshum M. Jones, Appellant,

v.

South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.


Appeal From Administrative Law Court
Paige J. Gossett, Administrative Law Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2010-UP-278
Submitted May 3, 2010 – Filed May 20, 2010   


AFFIRMED


Dyshum M. Jones, pro se, of Turbeville, for Appellant.

Christopher Florian, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Dyshum M. Jones appeals an Administrative Law Court (ALC) order affirming the South Carolina Department of Correction's (the Department's) denial of his step-two grievance.  Jones argues he should have received five years and four months of work credit for his enrollment and participation in the mandatory educational program to which the Department assigned him.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1.  As to whether the ALC's decision was clearly erroneous in light of the substantial evidence in the record as a whole: S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-610(B) (Supp. 2009) (stating the court of appeals may reverse or modify the ALC's decision if "substantive rights of the petitioner have been prejudiced"); S.C. Dep't of Corr. v. Mitchell, 377 S.C. 256, 260, 659 S.E.2d 233, 235 (Ct. App. 2008) (noting the burden rests squarely on the appellant when appealing an agency's decision to prove that substantive rights were prejudiced).   

2.  As to whether Jones was entitled to earn work credits for his participation in a mandatory educational program: S.C. Code Ann. § 24-13-230(A) (2007) (stating the Department may allow any prisoner a "reduction from the term of his sentence of zero to one day for every two days he is employed or enrolled").

3.  As to whether the Department violated its own policies in failing to award him additional earned work credit: Mitchell, 377 S.C. at 260, 659 S.E.2d at 235 ("[W]hen appealing an agency's decision, the burden rests squarely on the appellant to prove that substantive rights were prejudiced based on one of six statutory criteria listed [in section 1-23-380(A)(5) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2009)].").

4.  As to whether Jones's Fourteenth Amendment due process and equal protection rights were violated: Rule 208(b)(1)(B), SCACR ("Ordinarily, no point will be considered which is not set forth in the statement of the issues on appeal."); see also Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 373, 527 S.E.2d 742, 752 (2000) (holding the Department's disciplinary and grievance procedures are consistent with the due process standards outlined by the United States Supreme Court in Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539 (1974)). 

5.  As to whether Jones's First Amendment right of access to the court system was violated: Brown v. S.C. Dep't of Health & Envtl. Control, 348 S.C. 507, 519, 560 S.E.2d 410, 417 (2002) (stating issues not raised to and ruled upon by the ALC are not preserved for appellate consideration).     

6.  As to whether Jones's Eighth Amendment rights were violated: Mulherin-Howell v. Cobb, 362 S.C. 588, 600, 608 S.E.2d 587, 593-94 (Ct. App. 2005) (noting an issue is deemed abandoned on appeal when no legal authority is cited to support the argument and the argument itself is conclusory).

AFFIRMED.

KONDUROS and LOCKEMY, JJ., and CURETON, A.J., concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.