Are we a part of Black Lives Matter?

By consolidating stonewalled grievances together under one class action lawsuit, Marquise Caliz aims to make a legal move that cannot be ignored by the devastating Prison Litigation Reform Act. As you can see in the graph, the filing rate by prisoners has greatly dropped since the act’s 1996 passing. – Credit: Prison Policy Initiative, 2016

by Marquise Caliz

On May 23, 2020, while I was enslaved at Kern Valley State Prison in B-1 Ad Seg overflow, Correctional Officer M. Olivarez Tamayo (badge No. 86481) opened the door to the cell I was assigned to – and no, this was not a cell extraction.

After Correctional Officers Armando De La Cruz (badge No. 74544), J. Honea (badge No. 92281), L. Diaz (badge No. 90520) and C. Garcia (badge No. unknown) came in the cell and attacked me, fracturing my nose, pushing my tooth through my lip and choking me until I lost consciousness. 

They then cuffed my hands and feet, yanked me off the bunk by the leg cuffs – causing my chin to severely bruise from hitting the ground – and dragged me out of the cell by the leg cuffs. Correctional Officer J. Honea (badge No. 92281) sat on my legs while they were bent towards my back.

An unknown female correctional officer stood on the handcuffs, causing them to cut into my wrist; when I said something about it – or tried to – I was kicked in the face by Correctional Officer J. Martinez (badge No. 76786), which broke my zygomatic bone. Though hours later I was transferred to an outside hospital, Adventist Health Bakersfield, in their false report the COs stated that “inmate Caliz had minor injuries and was rehoused in Administrative Segregation.”

Since I’m a general population inmate, they assumed I was bound to their code of silence – which in a way I would have been if they hadn’t filed false charges against me for battery on a peace officer causing serious bodily injury. This is not my concern because I’m sufficiently educated on criminal and civil law. This is not a cry for help, but a battle cry for action.

I have been at this prison since Black August 2017 and I have seen a lot of inmates get attacked by these green wall gang members – described herein as “correctional officers” – due to the Prison Litigation Reform Act [which makes it harder for prisoners to file lawsuits in federal court]. If you’re one of the inmates or know someone who is, you can file your appeal and 602 grievance, get a copy of the rule violation report, the incident report and your declaration of the actual truth and mail me a copy at Caliz Care Act, P.O. Box 1907, Apple Valley, CA 92307, because I’m going to file a class action lawsuit. The more we have, the better our chances are of winning.

This is not a cry for help, but a battle cry for action.

Yes, I know about the retaliation because I’m living through it ‘til this day. I filed a 602 grievance that was accepted in June and due in August, and still to this day my grievance has been ignored. They have been taking my pictures sent by my family and taking my letters out of the mail I’m sending home. My wife would get the empty envelopes. 

They have been intentionally trying to make me take cold showers, ignoring all of my requests. Now I’m up for transfer to Pelican Bay State Prison, which is like being sent to another state. 

So yes, I know the retaliation is real, and that’s the reason why I ask, “Are we a part of Black Lives Matter?” Because other than the use of dogs, this prison life is like the 1960s. They’re killing us in here and the practice of brutality is an almost everyday reality – and CDCR isn’t doing anything about it. 

The Prison Litigation Reform Act gives them the ability to stonewall our grievances and open us up to retaliation. It’s like no lawyer is willing to defend us because of the PLRA. It’s hard not to wonder, “Do we matter?”

Death will be the only thing that will silence me. But our deaths shouldn’t be what it takes for you – yes, you – to do whatever you can for us in here to be heard. If you have any advice or support please do contact me directly at Marquise Caliz, AX2624, KVSP ASU-2, P.O. Box 5104, Delano, CA 93216.

If you know how to create the foundation for donations toward litigation costs and fees, please do assist, and if you want a copy of the report in regards to what happened to me on May 23, 2020, let me know and I’ll send that to you along with witness statements. 

Until then, may God bless you and yours. Thank you for your time; it is very much appreciated.

Send our brother some love and light: Marquise Caliz, AX2624, KVSP ASU-2, P.O. Box 5104, Delano, CA 93216.