Our experience confirms the concerns raised by your leading article 'Drug mules in our own jails' (22 July). Most of the people we see have no previous convictions; many claim they have been duped or coerced; many, especially those from developing countries, become involved through dire financial need; all find prosecution and imprisonment so far from home a harrowing experience. However, there is not generally the same level of compassion for them as has been shown towards British drug couriers imprisoned abroad.
Undoubtedly, drug trafficking is a serious offence, but many of those we see are no different to the two recently released from Thailand. John Major's intervention raises the question of how much discretion should be exercised by the courts and the Home Office when dealing with individuals who have been convicted of drug trafficking in this country.
Middlesex Area Probation Service
Foreign Nationals Unit
22 JulyReuse content