Circuit Judge William Shashy had originally given state prison officials until Aug. 13 to come up with a plan.
But Thursday, Shashy issued an order asking members of Gov. Don Siegelman's staff to get together with the top legislative leaders and the Attorney General.
He's asked them to meet on Aug. 26 to try to develop a plan to relieve the backlog.
The judge said he can't force anyone to meet. But if the officials do make commitments to resolve the long running problem, then he might reduce current or future financial sanctions against the state.
Shashy earlier told the state to pay $2.1 million to counties that have held state inmates beyond a 30-day limit, but the state has not yet paid the money.