In support of prisoners and prison justice activism in Canada
Dangerous Offender Classification for Lisa Neve Overturned

Alberta won't appeal ruling on dangerous offender ruling.
Former prostitute was freed after six years in prison.

Gordon Kent
The Edmonton Journal
September 29, 1999

Lisa Neve's long fight against being classified as a dangerous offender is over. Alberta Justice has decided it will not challenge a Court of Appeal decision that freed the former prostitute after more than six years in custody as a dangerous offender.

"The senior prosecutors of the department looked at the decision, and they concluded they didn't think we should proceed," Justice spokesman Bob Scott said yesterday.

The appeal court ruled in June that while Neve is a criminal, whose crimes include slashing the back of another woman's neck, she did not deserve to be labelled a dangerous offender. The Court of Appeal instead substituted a three-year prison sentence.

Neve, a young Aborignal woman, was freed within days because even added to other time she was serving, the decision meant she should have been let out on statutory release in September 1997.

The dangerous offender designation, and the indefinite prison term that goes along with it, is meant only for a small group of the most violent offenders in the country, the court ruled.

Neve's lawyer, Brian Baresh, said while concerned the case would be appealed by the province, he is not surprised by what happened.

"I honestly didn't think they would [appeal] because the judgment is sound, and I don't think that it is subject to a successful apellant attack."

Mr. Beresh said prosecutors are giving greater scrutiny to which dangerous offender applications should proceed in light of the Neve decision.

Neve, 26, is now living in Calgary with her mother and taking life-skills course. She is on parole until November.

For more information: www.elizabethfry.ca
See section titled Dangerous Offender Designation.