Rina Palta News Reporter

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Rina Palta reports on Southern California's social safety net for KPCC.

Her beat looks at what works and what doesn't about the systems designed to help people who fall into poverty, social welfare, public mental health systems, or criminal justice system — and help many get back on their feet.

Rina spent the past few years reporting on crime in Southern California. She came to L.A. from the Bay Area, where she launched the Informant, a digital collaboration between NPR and KALW. Her reporting there focused on California's prison, jails, and law enforcement agencies, and the effect of crime and the criminal justice system on communities.

Palta is a graduate of Haverford College and UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. In her spare time, she's a world-class eater and aspiring surfer.


Stories by Rina Palta

Advocates for mentally-ill offenders advise LA DA Lacey and Sheriff's Dept. on fixing jails

A task force led by L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey is releasing a roadmap for reducing L.A.'s ever-growing number of mentally ill jail inmates, and diverting those who need it into treatment.

Number of homeless living in cars grows

A 2014 court decision put an end to L.A.'s ban on sleeping in a vehicle. So neighbors are getting creative about kicking the homeless out.

District attorney releases plan for reducing mentally ill in jail

L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey wants to reduce the number of mentally ill behind bars. Her plan calls for special training for all law enforcement officials.

LA County settles Antelope Valley housing discrimination case

The L.A. County Housing Authority will pay out $2 million and restore some benefits to African-American residents of the Antelope Valley.

Gardena police shooting: Family, attorney ask for civil rights investigation

An attorney for the family of a man fatally shot by Gardena police in 2013 on Wednesday asked for a federal civil rights investigation into his death.

Family, officials react to new allegations in Skid Row shooting

An article in GQ this month alleges police were the ones to escalate the tension and violence in the March fatal shooting of homeless resident Charly Keunang.

Fired LA County employees had access to confidential records

Audits found lapses in IT practices at two county departments led to serious security issues. One county supervisor wants all departments to undergo the same review.

Santa Ana site crashes amid crush of people seeking rental assistance

While waitlists for Section 8 vouchers around the country remain closed, Santa Ana opened their application process last week to a stampede of interest.

LA County picks firm to research downsizing jail system

How many jail beds does the county really need? Some argue plans for a $2 billion jail are too big. Consultants' report meant to settle the debate.

Lack of storage makes homeless camp clean-up laws toothless

L.A.'s City Council last week gave approved ordinances to sweep up the proliferation of tent encampments. But where will they store the homeless's personal items?

Think California's housing crisis is tough in LA? Try Coachella.

Lack of housing in the Coachella Valley is driving the working poor into unsanitary, unsafe and un-permitted mobile home parks.

LA gets chunk of $59 million federal grant to help ex-cons

The U.S. Department of Labor is making a $4.5 million investment in employment programs and vocational training for Southern California's ex-offenders.

Quadruplets in foster care buck graduation odds

Less than half of L.A. County's foster youth graduate from high school — and fewer still graduate from college. But some overcome those odds.

LA's vacancy rate will drop to 2 percent, officials say

Historically low vacancy rates keep dropping in Los Angeles, officials say. And that's hurting the city's Section 8 program.

LA Supervisors vote to suspend jail overhaul

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to suspend a $2 billion overhaul of the county's jails.