In a glimmer of hope for California Gov. Jerry Brown's efforts to delay new reductions in the state prison population, a panel of three federal judges agreed to a brief postponement and ordered California officials and inmate attorneys to begin talking about solving the issue, the Sacramento Bee reports. The judges, who had ordered the state to shed 8,000 prisoners by Dec. 31, granted a postponement to Jan. 27. The order falls short of the three-year postponement Brown asked for, but it may signal a willingness by the panel to consider the possibility of a compromise. The judges ordered both sides to “meet and confer, beginning immediately,” to discuss Brown's request for more time. The judges also ordered the state not to “lease additional capacity in out-of-state facilities or otherwise increase the number of inmates who are housed in out-of-state facilities.” Sending inmates to private prisons in California and out-of-state is part of Brown's last-ditch effort to avoid releasing inmates to meet the court-ordered deadline.