Jurisdiction Over Department of Correction's Decision Concerning Charges of Misconduct Against a Prisoner
The common pleas court determined that the petition for writ of mandamus failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and was frivolous.
The Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court have previously held that department of correction's (DOC) decision concerning charges of misconduct against an inmate are beyond this Court's appellate or original jurisdiction.
Bronson v. Central Office Review Committee, 554 Pa. 317, 721 A.2d 357 (1998); Edmunson v. Horn, 694 A.2d 1179 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1997).
In Bronson, our Pennsylvania Supreme Court reasoned:
Internal prison operations are more properly left to the legislative and executive branches, and that prison officials must be allowed to exercise their judgment in the execution of policies necessary to preserve order and maintain security free from judicial interference. . . .
Unlike the criminal trial and appeals process where a defendant is accorded the full spectrum of rights and protections guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions, and which is necessarily within the ambit of the judiciary, the procedures for pursuing inmate grievances and misconduct appeals are a matter of internal prison administration and the 'full panoply of rights due a defendant in a criminal prosecution is not necessary in a prison disciplinary proceeding.' Bronson, 554 Pa. at 321, 721 A.2d at 358-359.