The Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved the probation department's request Tuesday to build a smaller facility on Natividad Road.
Chief Probation Officer Manny Real said fewer teens are being held in juvenile hall. He said the new hall should have 120 beds, instead of 150. It's a move that would save $39 million.
"We've been operating under capacity for a while now. We've seen a continual decline over the past couple of years. I think we have effective alternatives to detention," said Real over the phone Tuesday.
Real said the plan will go to the state board of corrections next for approval at the beginning of May. The reconstruction of juvenile hall is not expected to begin for another two years.