Jackson v. Haney
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: 1. Petitioner Mark Jackson's habeas petition, filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 1 , is DENIED. 2. This action is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE and STRICKEN from the Court's active docket. 3. The Court shall enter an appropriate judgment. Signed by Judge Karen K. Caldwell on 1/23/15.(LC)cc: COR, Petitioner via US mail Modified text on 1/23/2015 (LC).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
MARK A. JACKSON,
Civil No. 5:14-334-KKC
STEVE HANEY, Warden,
**** **** **** ****
Mark A. Jackson is in custody of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (“KDOC”)
and is presently confined in the Little Sandy Correctional Complex (“LSCC”) located in
Sandy Hook, Kentucky. Jackson, proceeding pro se, has filed a petition for writ of habeas
corpus, pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 2241, claiming that the KDOC has failed to award him the
correct amount of good time credits (meritorious, statutory, and work-time) on his sentence,
resulting in his serving more time in prison than he is required by law to serve. [R. 1]
Jackson claims that he has completely served his sentence, and he requests this Court to
order that he be released from prison immediately. [R. 1, Page ID# 8] Jackson has paid the
$5.00 filing fee.
The Court has reviewed Jackson’s petition and concludes that he has failed to state
a claim for which relief can be granted. For the reasons stated below, his petition will be
denied and this action will be dismissed.
The Court conducts an initial review of habeas corpus petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2243;
Alexander v. N. Bureau of Prisons, 419 F. App’x 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011) (citing Allen v.
Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970)). The Court must deny a petition if it plainly
appears that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. R. Governing § 2254 Cases 4 (rendered
applicable to § 2241 petitions by Rule 1(b)). At this stage, the Court must accept Jackson’s
factual allegations as true. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Because Jackson
lacks counsel, the Court must also evaluate his claims leniently. Id.
On March 9, 2007, Jackson was convicted in Boone Circuit Court of complicity to
commit Robbery, Second Degree. See Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Mark A. Jackson, Case
No. 05-CR-0498, Boone Circuit Court. Because he was also a Persistent Felony Offender
(First Degree) at that time, his ten-year sentence on the robbery charge was enhanced by
another five years, resulting in a total sentence of fifteen years. [R. 1-1, Page ID# 12] The
KDOC’s Resident Record Card attached as an exhibit to Jackson’s petition confirms this
information and reflects that Jackson must serve at least 20% of his 15-year sentence and
that he has been given 598 days of jail credit on his sentence, perhaps because he remained
in custody from the time of his arrest on the robbery charge until his date of conviction. [R.
1-1, Page ID# 12]
The KDOC’s records on Jackson also reflects that his Parole Eligibility Date is June
23, 2015, that his Minimum Expiration of Sentence Date is September 24, 2015, which is
his good time release date, and that his Maximum Expiration of Sentence Date is June 22,
See http://kool.corrections.ky.gov/KOOL/Details/119893 (last checked January 21,
Jackson’s Resident Record Card as of July 14, 2014, indicates that while
incarcerated, Jackson has been given various types of credit on his sentence, viz.,
meritorious good time, work for time credit, and statutory good time, as chronologically
itemized by dates from April 1, 2008 through June 30, 2014. [R. 1-1, Page ID## 12-16]
CLAIM ASSERTED IN THE 2241 PETITION
Jackson claims that the KDOC has not given him the correct amount of the various
types of good time credits on his sentence. He contends that when the correct amount of
good time to which he is entitled is applied to his sentence, it will establish that he has
completed service of all of the time he is required by law to serve on his 15-year sentence;
therefore, he is entitled to immediate release from prison.
In September of 2013, pursuant to the KDOC’s Correctional Policy and Procedure
(“CPP”) 17.4, Jackson filed an Administrative Remedy with the KDOC, claiming that the
calculation of his release date was incorrect. Jackson stated the problem as follows:
My time calculation isn’t correct. I’m doing time on a 15 yr. 20% sentence,
with 45 mos off for statutory GT, and 20 mos. Jail time, 13 mos meritorious
and work credit, is 6 ½ yrs and the 6 ½ yrs I’ve served already, is 13 Yrs
TOTAL on a 15 Yr. Sentence, Pluss [sic] the 8 mos, is almost 14Yrs
R. 1-1, Page ID# 25.
He requested that the KDOC review and correct the matter, stating, “I realy [sic] do
appreciate anything you can do to help clean up this matter. Your response is very much
appreciated.” [R. 1-1, Page ID# 28]
On October 14, 2013, Susan Wilhoit-Oliver, Offender Records Supervisor at the
KDOC, responded to Jackson’s Administrative Remedy request, advising Jackson that his
sentence calculations are correct and explaining those calculations, as follows:
Your sentence calculations are correct.
Upon initial calculation of your sentence, statutory good time in an amount
equal to 1/4 of your sentence is recorded on your resident record card. This
deduction is made in anticipation of your clear conduct. However, statutory
good time is subject to forfeiture based on your behavior.
You are also eligible to receive meritorious good time in the amount of
five (5) days per month for each whole calendar month served without
receiving a major disciplinary report of a Category III or above up to April
2008 and (7) days per month starting May 2008. Meritorious good time is
given at the discretion of the institutional and Central Office staff based on
your clear conduct.
The exact amount of time it would take to serve out a Fifteen year sentence
can only be determined on a case by case basis. Since we cannot predict
future behavior of any individual, we do not calculate projected release dates.
Your current minimum expiration date is August 24, 2015.
According to our records, you were reviewed for meritorious good time.
You received the full amount of meritorious good time for which you were
recommended to receive.
This office will not increase the amount of an award recommended by unit
classification staff. If the unit classification staff at the institution that
originally submitted the recommendation choose[s] to amend the
recommendation, they may do so.
Please note, meritorious good time is a privilege, not a right. If the
institutional unit classification staff do not deem it appropriate to increase
the recommendation, then no change will be made.
I have reviewed your work for time credit and it is correct.
R. 1-1, Page ID# 30.
Jackson indicated on the KDOC’s response form that he wished to appeal the abovereferenced response to his Administrative Remedy request. Id. It is unclear whether any
appeal was actually formalized, as Jackson’s attachments do not include any subsequent
response from the KDOC concerning Jackson’s claim that his sentence had been improperly
calculated. For purposes of this analysis, the Court will presume that Jackson has
exhausted the administrative remedies available to him prior to filing this habeas petition.
Jackson’s petition states in part:
I have served over the time required to serve out my sentence pursuant to ky
law. 85% requires a prisoner to serve 12 years 6 months on a fifteen years
[sic] sentence. My sentence is at 20% and the respondent has held me
illegally for several years now. I should have been sent home after 9 years 6
months with my good time credits, pursuant to law on a 20% service
sentence. I have been illegally denied my right to see the parole board for
R. 1, Page ID# 7.
The Court distills from the foregoing statements that Jackson appears to believe
that he was entitled to be released after serving 20% of his sentence. However, Jackson
cites no authority for this proposition, and the Court is aware of no statutory or case law
that would support such a claim.
As to his claim that he has been denied his right to see the parole board for early
release, the Offender Information for Jackson, as listed on the KDOC’s website, reflects
that Jackson’s Parole Eligibility Date is June 23, 2015, and that Parole Hearings are
conducted 60 days prior to a Parole Date. See
http://kool.corrections.ky.gov/KOOL/Details/119893 (last checked January 21, 2015). Given
Jackson’s Parole Eligibility Date of June 23, 2015, he would not be entitled to a Parole
Hearing until 60 days prior thereto, viz., on or about April 23, 2015. Therefore, he has not
been illegally denied his right to appear before the Parole Board. His claim otherwise is
premature and is presently without merit.
Furthermore, just because an inmate is eligible for parole does not automatically
guarantee that he will be released on parole, as an inmate has no constitutional right to be
paroled. Generally speaking, a Parole Board has the discretion to grant or deny parole. As
the Supreme Court noted in Greenholtz v. Inmates of the Nebraska Penal and Correctional
Complex, 442 U.S. 1(1979):
The parole-release decision...is more subtle [than the revocation decision] and
depends on an amalgam of elements, some of which are factual but many of
which are purely subjective appraisals by the Board members based upon
their experience with the difficult and sensitive task of evaluating the
advisability of parole release. Unlike the revocation decision, there is no set
of facts which, if shown, mandate a decision favorable to the individual.
442 U.S. at 10.
In summary, Jackson’s habeas petition is currently premature. His petition fails to
state a claim for which relief can be granted at this time. If he does not have a parole
hearing on or about April 23, 2015, then he would be authorized to file a habeas petition.
For these reasons, his petition will be dismissed without prejudice.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that:
(1) Petitioner Mark Jackson’s habeas petition, filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [R.
1], is DENIED.
(2) This action is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE and STRICKEN from the
Court’s active docket.
(3) The Court shall enter an appropriate judgment.
Dated January 23, 2015.
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