The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bua, District Judge.
Plaintiff Jerome Jackson is a prisoner of the Illinois
Department of Corrections, incarcerated at the Stateville
Correctional Center ("Stateville"), Joliet, Illinois.
Defendant Tillis is a Correctional Sergeant at Stateville. On
August 22, 1983, Jackson was presented with a copy of an
Inmate Disciplinary Report, written by Tillis, alleging that
Jackson had violated "Administrative Regulation 804, Rule #
102, Assaulting Any Person." Complaint, Exhibit A. Tillis
charged in the report that:
While escorting Unit E yard, said resident
[Jackson] ran up and hit me on the head knocking
me down. Said resident had on a black mask and a
hooded sweat shirt pull [sic] down over his head.
I got away from the resident and he followed and
hit me again. I recognized resident from the
shape of his body. Resident had on slick blue
state issued pants.
On September 2, 1983, after an agreed continuance from
August 25, 1983, Jackson appeared before the prison Adjustment
Committee, a review board composed of defendants Johnson,
Adjustment Committee Chairman, and Correctional Counselors
Schomberger, McCabe, Rivera and Forkas. The Adjustment
Committee found Jackson guilty of the charges set forth in the
Inmate Disciplinary Report and sentenced the plaintiff to 360
days segregation, 360 days loss of good time, and 360 days
demotion to C-Grade. The Adjustment Committee
based its decision on plaintiff's statement that he was
present at the time of the incident; a positive photo
identification by Tillis of Jackson in a picture line-up; and
the Adjustment Committee's observation that Jackson did have
an identifiable body, including a "very muscular upper torso,
slim waist and always wears tight pants." Complaint, Exhibit
In response to the Adjustment Committee's findings, Jackson
filed a complaint with the Administrative Review Board
("Review Board") on September 20, 1983. The Review Board was
composed of defendants Hetman, the chairperson, Henry and
Melendez. On October 25, 1983, the Review Board affirmed the
decision of the Adjustment Committee. In addition to the facts
established by the Adjustment Committee, the Review Board also
considered Jackson's refusal to submit to a polygraph
examination and his prior disciplinary record which indicated
numerous reports of misconduct, including reports of
intimidation or threats, possession of contraband weapons,
insolence and threats towards correctional employees.
Complaint, Exhibit D.
After exhausting his state administrative remedies, Jackson
filed this suit alleging violations of the fifth, eighth, and
fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Jackson seeks
relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court is
defendants' motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for
summary judgment. On September 10, 1984, the parties were
informed by the Court that defendants' motion would be treated
as a motion for summary judgment. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b). On
January 7, 1985, Jackson filed a response to defendants'
motion. Jackson alleges that Tillis' identification of Jackson
as the assailant and the findings of both the Adjustment
Committee and the Review Board were determined on the basis of
insufficient evidence. Jackson contends that because Tillis'
assailant was hooded and masked, a positive identification was
virtually impossible. Jackson also contends that the Adjustment
Committee failed to give an adequate statement of the reasons
for the disciplinary action taken. Finally, Jackson asserts
that because the decisions of both the Adjustment Committee and
the Review Board were made pursuant to the disciplinary report,
and that the decision of the Review Board was in part based on
Jackson's past institutional record, the findings of these two
boards were not based on sound evidence and were thus a
violation of Jackson's constitutional rights.
For the reasons stated below, defendants' motion for summary
judgment is granted.
Under Rule 56, summary judgment is appropriate only if "the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show
that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact."
Fed.R. Civ.P. 56. To the extent that the record is unclear or
the facts conflicting, the evidence in the record must be
viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the
motion. U.S. v. One Heckler-Koch Rifle, 629 F.2d 1250, 1251
(7th Cir. 1980).
In Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S.Ct. 2963, 41
L.Ed.2d 935 (1974), the Supreme Court held that if a state
creates a right for a prisoner to earn good-time credits —
that is, a firm expectation that if the prisoner complies with
specified conditions he will automatically earn the credits and
be released earlier — the prisoner has a liberty interest
protected under the fourteenth amendment. Wolff, supra, 418
U.S. at 557, 94 S.Ct. at 2975. Further, a state which provides
a prisoner with the right to remain free of disciplinary
segregation unless the prisoner violates specific conditions
creates a liberty interest within the meaning of the due
process clause. Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 103 S.Ct. 864,
871, 74 L.Ed.2d 675 (1983). By reason of Illinois law, the
plaintiff in the instant case has a protectable liberty
interest to remain in the general prison population and to earn
good-time credits during his period of incarceration. See
Woodall v. Partilla,
581 F. Supp. 1066, 1072 (D.C.Ill. 1984). Thus, Jackson's claims
with respect to loss of good time and administrative
segregation fall within the parameter of those liberty
interests protected under the fourteenth amendment and the
state's disciplinary proceedings are subject to procedural due
It is well settled that in determining what "process is due"
in the prison context "one cannot automatically apply
procedural rules designed for free citizens in an open
society . . . to the very different situation presented by a
disciplinary proceeding in a state prison." Hewitt, supra, 103
S.Ct. at 872. The Court in Hewitt examined the interests
involved in the prison's regulation of administrative
segregation and determined that the basis for confining a
prisoner to administrative segregation, namely to reduce the
threat of safety of other inmates and prison officials, was
perhaps the most fundamental responsibility of the prison
administration. Id. at 872. In balancing this interest against
the prisoner's private interest of remaining in the general
prison population, the Court ...