An Author, CEO, Entrepreneur, Mother and Wife are all titles that best describes Mrs. Sonya Evan Staples. She has been a trailblazer and advocate to bring awareness to the lack of resources upon re-entry into society and staggering numbers of incarcerated individuals.

But her story goes way beyond what we see on the surface. Born and raised in Richmond, VA from humble beginnings Sonya later met her now Husband Jonathan ‘Jay Jay’ Staples. Their love story began and it was beautiful. He held her in such high regard and treated her like a Queen. She knew that this was the love of life. Due to unfortunate mistakes, Jay Jay was sentenced to 27 years in prison! Jay Jay tried to do the noble thing and give her an out from the situation but she wouldn’t budge.

Sonya and Jay Jay

Sonya adopted a NEW normal. This meant making frequent trips to visit and support her man all while working and going to school. Sonya and Jay Jay became parents and continued to support each other. life happens so there where MANY highs and lows over the years. But one thing that remained constant was their faith and love for each other. After some time apart, they rekindled their relationship. Not wanting to lose his Love again, Jay Jay asked Sonya to be his wife. Reluctant, Sonya declined initially thinking it just was the right time but with the support from their children, she surprised him at their next visit by accepting his proposal. A true Gentleman, Jay Jay redid his proposal on bended knee and Sonya couldn’t have be happier.

Mr. and Mrs. Staples with their children.

In her Book “From Prison, To Promise” Sonya speaks about how she adopted an “I DON’T CARE” attitude in regards to her new life choices. Admittedly, at first she wondered what others would think but decided not only did she not care but she also wouldn’t let anyone’s opinion dictate her happiness. The Staples were married at his facility soon after.

Around this time the prison was going through a surge in overdoses and and drug use. In turn, the rules started to changed left and right. A new policy was set where they had K-9 dogs that would try to sniff out drugs and related paraphernalia. While visiting one day, Sonya says the dog walked around her sniffing and the officer became suspicious. A CO who was familiar with her due to countless visits tried to vouch for her. But it was decided that to have her Visit with Jay Jay for the day she would have to go through with a full strip search and search of her vehicle. She knew her rights so she requested the officers info and preceded with the search. Sonya described the event as humiliating and degrading. After everything they told her to leave, she didn’t even get her visit. Devastated, she took to social media to tell others about her experience. Word got back to Jay Jay about the incident so when they talked later, she just asked him to remain calm and stay out of trouble. By this time he had gone 7 years without any infraction but yet they sent him to the hole and offered him a transfer. Clearly, this was an attempt at a cover up but they weren’t going to let it go. All the while her video starts to go viral.

Their recent trails inspired them to come up with a internet radio show. They titled it ‘From Prison To Promise’. The show would help shed light on the issues in the DOC and stories from other families. Making it clear to other’s ‘you aren’t in this alone’. She has continued to show her support for many families and community leaders. Because of her endless efforts Sonya and her team are thriving within the community and constantly giving back. Next Month, Jay Jay is coming home. They look forward to not only to life on the outside but ways to continue their efforts for Prison Reform. Mrs. Staples is going to be one to watch because she has already proven there is no stopping her determination, drive, or skill.

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Live shows every Thursday Night at 7PM on the Offworld Network

For business inquires or more, contact her by email at

You can find her book on amazon >Sonya Staples

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