BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two Idaho state judges have raised concerns the Department of Correction is recommending probation for convicted criminals, rather than prison time, to manage its budget for keeping people behind bars.

The Idaho Statesman reports that 4th District judges Mike Wetherell and Cheri Copsey recently rejected probation recommendations by the state prison agency, one for a sex offender and another for a man convicted of assault. Copsey says IDOC's "recommendations for probation... lack credibility."

In the sex offender's case, prison employee Naomi Laurino told Wetherell the prison system was out of space and her superiors wanted her to be "very judicious" when recommending prisoners be incarcerated, rather than placed on probation. Prison officials denied they were putting employees under pressure to recommend probation when a prison term would be more appropriate.

Idaho Judges Concerned with Probation Recommendations