Stairway Outreach

(A Non-Profit Organization)

Clay (Dusty) Sanders, Director

My story

My name is Clay Douglas Sanders.  My friends call me Dusty.  I began having problems early in my life and I had my first encounter with the law when I was 13.  Then after 2 violent escapes, 3 times being searched for by police helicopters, once searched for by bloodhounds, once searched for by a sheriff's posse, 1 armed police standoff, 11 stolen vehicles, 17 car wreaks, 5 truck wrecks, 4 times stabbed, 2 times literally breaking my neck, 2 brain operations, 1 time to reform school, many times to jail, 8 drug treatment centers, 6 times to the penitentiary and much, much more later.  I then found out what my real problem was in life!  And I discovered my real problem in a strange way.

I was in prison for the fifth time, as inmate #458703, and I was in what they call a violators camp.  It wasn't much of a camp though; it was actually a 7 story building in downtown Houston, Texas.  No trout fishing there!  (Ha Ha)  Anyway there I was, lying on my bunk, in a 40 man prison dormitory and I was reading a book that another inmate had lent me.  The book was titled, "The Prince of Tides" and I was really getting into it, really enjoying it, when something really weird happened.  I had gotten to a place in the book where the main character was talking to a psychiatrist acquaintance in an effort to uncover any early childhood traumas that may have had an effect and played a part in the depressions of his sister.

As I was spell bound by the story, the main characters began to very slowly and graphically recount an event that happened a long time ago when they were both very young.  Some prison escapees had taken control of their home, with them in it, and the part of that served as a trigger in my own mind, was when he began to slowly describe being raped by one of he escapees!  It was like the picture that was coming to my mind as I read and what I was reading were not the same!  It was very scary at first; it was like I was losing my mind or something.

To make a long story short, what resulted from my reading that book is that I learned that one of my uncles, already deceased, had raped me when I was four and a half years old.  I was 36 at the time that I read the book.  What I later learned was that through some very powerful psychological defense/survival/protection mechanisms, that I had found it appropriate to Repress the whole experience.  So Repress it I did so well that even I was completely unaware of being raped at four and a half until I hit a trigger some 32 years later.

Today, I am in prison for DWI with a total life long income of $20,177.00.  That's right; I've made in 40 years what a lot of people make in one year.  But now I FINALLY know why.

© Copyright 2002 Clay Douglas Sanders

The Program

The Primary focus of Stairway Outreach is the reintegration of men and women who are to be or have been released from prison who have been sexually, emotionally or physically abused during their childhood.  

I first draw from my own experiences which as you can see are pretty dramatic, to say the least.  What has really helped to bring the magnitude of the problem in our society home to me, is through honest conversations with other "offenders" (Inmates) who share the history of being abused as children, usually "sexually abused", like myself.  This has shown me that there IS a very real NEED for this service.  There are  so many of us who are "repeat offenders" (Felons) because the abuse that was suffered in our early years, has never been "resolved" internally.  I was fortunate enough to seek and receive 2 years of Psychotherapy. Everyone isn't as fortunate.

I am interested in hearing from anyone who is interested in either expressing themself or in "helping " in some way to see that this problem in our society gets more attention than it has.  

I expect to be released in the next year or so.  I am trying to do all that I am able to "prepare" to reach my goal of the "Stairway Outreach" Foundation.  This site is a start.  When I get out of prison I plan on speaking publicly in jails, prisons, schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts, etc.

Clay D. Sanders #899486
Gib Lewis Unit
P.O. Box 9000
Woodville, TX 75990-9000

Hi  I am  Lee Gaylord the web master of this site.  If you wish to contribute to this site we need ex-cons, psychologists, psychiatrists and other individuals to write for this site.  We  also need links to sites that will help the ex-cons re-enter society. We want to keep them from going back to prison.

Employers should know that there are tax credits for hiring parolees.


The Injustice System Dusty's Page

The Injustice System forum has a section for this site.
L.A.S.T.C.H.A.N.C.E.:  If you know any young people who are on their way to prison send them there and with luck Chris or one of the others may be able to help them find a new path.  

The Castle of Hope for Lost Souls, A Michigan Nonprofit Corporation

The Castle of Hope for Lost Souls - Group Site Map

Prison W.A.A.C.H. ( Women Abused As Children)

Castle of Hope for Lost Souls
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