The Million Dollar Man: Reflections on Life Sentences by a Canadian Lifer


  • Yves Réal Côté
  • Alana Abramson Kwantlen Polytechnic University


Author Biographies

Yves Réal Côté

Yves Réal Côté resides in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Yves served nearly 32 years in prisons all over Canada. He has spent time in 18 different institutions at every security level, including the Special Handling Unit in Quebec. As a child, Yves was subjected to unspeakable trauma and victimization at the hands of those who were entrusted to care for him. As a result, Yves learned to use violence as a tool to protect himself. During his incarceration, Yves found a new way forward to live a life without violence. Through committing himself to personal growth, spiritual service, and volunteerism, Yves transformed. In 2010, Yves became a Certified Facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). He also coordinated this project for several years, playing a key role in inspiring and influencing other prisoners to explore a path of non-violence. Yves hasbeen living in the community on parole for almost eight years. He works tirelessly at his job, continues to volunteer with AVP and speaks publicly about his journey. Yves enjoys spending time with his church community, friends and loving wife, Kim.

Alana Abramson, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. Alana Abramson is a faculty member in the Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Kamloops, British Columbia. Dr. Abramson has been involved in the field of restorative justice (RJ) as a researcher, practitioner, and trainer since 1999. She has extensive experience implementing RJ in community, prison, and school contexts. In 2017, Dr. Abramson was the recipient of the Restorative Justice Award from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. She also worked to develop the first victim-sensitive principles and standards for restorative justice providers in her province. Dr. Abramson is currently a Coordinator and Facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project, an Inside Out Instructor, Board Member for BC Bereavement Society and Restorative Justice of BC, and trainer for Achieve/Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute. Dr. Abramson met Yves in prison in 2006, and they have remained friends and collaborators since. As a transformative justice advocate, she has learned that stories are powerful vehicles for social change. Dr. Abramson is a passionate prison justice advocate, dedicated to bringing voice to people who are or have been incarcerated.