S4, Episode 5: Redemption in the DDU (May 30th, 2020)

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Redemption in the DDU (Official Transcript, *.docx)

Erick Williams tells the story of how one night in the chow hall got him into solitary confinement at Walpole. The path out of solitary, and eventually out of prison, took another decade.  We look at the unique power of the Department of Corrections to implement civil and social death sentences. Philosopher Lisa Guenther tells the history of solitary in America, and the conceptions of the self that drive its continued use. We end with an examination of what the experiences of solitary say about the nature of human experiences of time, purpose, and connection with other humans. Guest voices include Erick Williams, Lisa Guenther, Lisa Newman-Polk, and Jamie Eldridge.

 In Slate Plus, Barry and Lisa Newman-Polk tell the story of Eugene Ivey, Erick William’s best friend, who spent 13 years is solitary, was paroled, but is still locked up on charges inside the Massachusetts prison system.

Join me at philosopher Lisa Guenther to talk about solitary, phenomenology, and existentialism, in our invite-only Zoom event on


Lisa Guenther

Lisa Newman-Polk

State Senator Jamie Eldridge

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