A federal judge, warning District officials yesterday that they must act immediately to reduce inmate populations at the city's three Occoquan prisons, nonetheless granted a second one-month reprieve from her court order requiring that inmate populations there be trimmed to 1,281 from the current 1,970.

"Obviously, we are now at a crisis situation," U.S. District Judge June L. Green said during an hourlong hearing on a new plan that was drawn up by former D.C. Superior Court judge John D. Fauntleroy Jr., who was appointed by Green to develop a plan to reduce crowding at five Lorton prisons, including the Occoquan facilities.

"These are emergency {problems} we are faced with . . . and they have to be coped with now," said Green, setting July 30 as the new deadline for limiting the number of Occoquan inmates. "You either have to have a place to put {the additional inmates} or have fewer people." The limit was to have gone into effect today.

In a related development that threatens the city's ability to reduce chronic crowding, Rep. Stan Parris (R-Va.) yesterday introduced a bill to repeal the District's recently approved prison overcrowding emergency law and warned that the city's plans for the early release of as many as 400 inmates would pose a serious threat to public safety.

"Must we each pay the personal price for the District's management failures?" said Parris, the ranking Republican on the House District of Columbia Committee. "How many innocent citizens of the Washington area will be harmed or killed at the hands of the dangerous criminals released under this act?"

Much of yesterday's court hearing was devoted to how the city will implement the emergency release law, and Green ordered the city to provide a detailed report July 13 stating the number of inmates eligible for release and how many could be released within 90 days or 180 days.

D.C. Corrections Director Hallem H. Williams Jr. pledged to work "very closely" with Fauntleroy in responding to the former judge's requests. Williams said his department has completed an administrative review of prisoners potentially eligible for early parole. The findings are to be sent to the mayor's office in the next few days.

"I would be surprised if the early parole process doesn't begin in the next 20 days," Williams said. "It is imminent."

The law, requested by Mayor Marion Barry, enables the mayor to make some inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes eligible for parole 90 days early, provided that D.C. corrections officials certify that the inmate population has remained above the prison system's rated capacity for 30 days and that an emergency exists. Those inmates must then appear before the Parole Board for hearings.

District officials emphasize that inmates who were convicted of violent crimes -- including homicide, rape, assault with a dangerous weapon and armed robbery -- and those serving mandatory sentences on drug convictions would not qualify for early parole.

"There are no violent people going anywhere," said Julius W. Hobson Jr., the mayor's congressional lobbyist.

But Parris said yesterday that the emergency legislation would permit the early release of "quite dangerous" criminals -- robbers and drug offenders who are not covered under the D.C. mandatory sentencing statute. The city already has more than 2,000 former inmates on parole, supervised by 70 agents, according to Parris. "I am told that the proper supervision is already less than adequate," Parris said.

Parris, a longtime critic of the District's running of Lorton Reformatory in Fairfax County, will ask Rep. Ronald V. Dellums (D-Calif.), chairman of the District Committee, to conduct a hearing on his bill as soon as possible, according to an aide.

In the court hearing yesterday, no new details of how the city hopes to reduce the number of inmates at the Occoquan prisons were revealed, but it was disclosed that a 100-bed modular unit recently purchased from Prince George's County will be used to house inmates displaced by renovations at Lorton's Central facility and will not augment general inmate housing.

Peter Nickles, the lead attorney for Lorton inmates in lawsuits against the District, told the court that the city must build "massive new facilities" to house the prison population, which is growing by about 200 people a month, largely because of the city's major police crackdown on drugs.

Green, in a step toward possible consolidation of the five Lorton inmate suits over which she presides, ordered Fauntleroy to meet with attorneys in the cases to consider renegotiating inmate population ceilings to try to equalize crowding in the various prisons.

Four of Lorton's prisons -- Central, Maximum and the two youth centers -- are under federal court-ordered inmate population ceilings, and imposition of the Occoquan limits would leave only two institutions, Minimum and a 400-bed modular facility, without population ceilings. Each of those prisons houses about 50 percent more than its rated capacity.

Jere Krakoff of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project, which represents the Occoquan inmates, said conditions at some of the Occoquan dormitories have worsened during the yearlong battle to ease crowding. Krakoff said there are 119 inmates in J-1 dormitory, 118 in J-2 and 94 in Dormitory 5, compared with the planned limits of 52, 60 and 35, respectively.Staff writer Sari Horwitz contributed to this report.