A federal judge ordered District and federal officials yesterday to meet during the next week to fashion a voluntary plan to reduce crowding in the city's prisons within 30 days by sending some inmates to federal institutions and releasing others early.

But sources said last night that retired D.C. judge John D. Fauntleroy Jr., the special court officer who is to conduct negotiations, has set the first meeting for Tuesday, only two days before U.S. District Judge June L. Green has said she will take some action to enforce imposition of prison population ceilings at Lorton's three Occoquan prisons.

The city originally was to have reduced inmate populations at the Occoquan facilities to 1,281 by June 1, but Green has twice delayed imposition to allow Fauntleroy to produce a plan to address the overall crowding issue.

The newest deadline is July 30, but the Occoquan prisons still house at least 600 inmates more than the new limits.

In his latest report to the court, Fauntleroy recommended that the city build another prison at Lorton, in addition to the new drug and alcohol treatment center that is to be built adjacent to the D.C. Jail.

City attorneys did not comment on that proposal yesterday.

Green ordered city and federal officials to meet during an unusual hearing in which she refused to listen to the arguments of the lawyers who represent the Occoquan inmates, sparred with an attorney for the federal government and defended the actions of lawyer Peter Nickles, who represents inmates at Lorton's Central and Maximum facilities and has orchestrated the latest court moves concerning the Occoquan prisoners.

At the same time, Green postponed for at least a week consideration of Nickles' request to force the federal government to begin immediately taking all newly sentenced prisoners from D.C. Superior Court.

"This is the first time {District officials} have admitted that they are in a crisis condition," Green said in response to Assistant U.S. Attorney Royce C. Lamberth's protests of Green's decision last week to add the federal government as a defendant to the prison suit brought by Central inmates.

Nickles and city officials contend that because a 1932 law gives the attorney general custody of all D.C. prisoners, the federal government shares responsibility with the city for providing adequate prisoner housing.

The federal government maintains that D.C. prisoners are the responsibility of the District and claims that the city has not acted quickly or in good faith to add emergency housing for inmates, which the city promised as a condition of the federal government's acceptance of 1,700 city prisoners in late 1985 and early 1986.

"The attorney general cannot come in here and say, 'We are not going to help again, because we are mad at the mayor,' " Nickles told Green in proposing that she order city and federal officials to meet.

But the judge cut off the arguments of Jere Krakoff of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project, which represents the Occoquan inmates, as he tried to persuade Green not to consider sending D.C. prisoners into the federal system.

Krakoff said later that if the inmates are sent to the federal system they will not only be separated from their relatives but will be governed by federal regulations that would give them fewer opportunities for early release.