I’m not totally sure why I’m writing this blog, well, I kind of do. It isn’t to garner empathy or sympathy but mainly it is because if I don’t get it out I feel my head will explode. My heart also feels as if it will scar permanently from the news I received during the early hours of Saturday, June 26, 2021. A day I can’t ever see myself forgetting. A good friend and colleague from Revolving Doors Agency (RDA), Jahmaine ‘Jahmazing’ Davis, aka Just Jahmaine, had taken his own life. A man so full of life, it seemed, and a passion for change based on his own experiences of life.
I haven’t known Jahmaine for years, however; he had an immediate impact on my life. We clicked. We were singing from the same hymn sheet. It also wasn’t about us, it was about what we did that mattered. It was Jahmaine who around this time last year recommended Revolving Doors Agency and their lived experience team (LET) to me. Joining RDA and the LET have taken me places, like the top tables in the ivory towers of our criminal justice system, I only ever dreamed about since turning around my own life in prison, with a mission to influence reform upon my release.
Jahmaine and I worked together on several projects through RDA. Some are still ongoing, and there’s few who know about the influence Jahmaine has had when we’ve worked on co-developing and co-producing certain policies with the major players linked to our criminal justice system, such as, the newly reunified probation service, the MoJ and NHS England Health in Justice among several others.
“If anyone knows about knife crime, it’s Jahmaine Davis. Having come from a background a lot of people would find difficult to even comprehend, this man has come a very long way. His story is an inspirational one, so let’s find out more about him now…”https://www.soft-touch.org.uk/2019/10/participants-knife-crime-project-featured-on-fashion-blog/
Suicide is not uncommon throughout my life, some hurt more than others. Working as a listener in prison, I had got to where, if I expected it; it didn’t shock or hurt as much when it happened. You cannot be in those roles and not become invested emotionally.
Jahmaine’s came out of the blue. It has hit me like a freight train. I am trying to make sense of something that makes little sense and where the only person I can ask, I can’t. However, it isn’t for me to make sense of something so private to someone.
My one comfort is that when I last spoke to Jahmaine, I listened intently to his plans and a letter he had drafted for all the big sports clothing companies. He did nothing in half measures.
I am honoured to have known Jahmaine.
A kindred spirit.
Rest in peace, brother.
Jahmaine Davis. 1979 – 2021.