Rina Palta Crime and Safety Reporter

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Contact Rina Palta

Rina Palta is a Crime and Safety Reporter for KPCC.

Rina spent the past few years reporting on California's prisons, jails, and law enforcement agencies, focusing on how crime and the criminal justice system impact communities. She comes to Southern California from the Bay Area, where she launched the Informant, a digital collaboration between NPR and KALW. Her reporting there on juvenile justice earned a PASS Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

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

Jury awards $840,000 to LA County Jail inmates injured by deputies

A Los Angeles jury Thursday made the award to five inmates who sued after suffering broken bones and head trauma at the hands of L.A. County Sheriff's deputies in 2008.

LA County sends first jail inmates to firefighting camps

Twenty county jail inmates Wednesday packed up their personal items and boarded vans headed to Sylmar to learn how to fight wildfires. The plan includes sending hundreds more.

Lawyers want clemency for Riverside boy who killed Neo-Nazi dad (Update)

Supporters for a Riverside boy who murdered his neo-Nazi father – including a state senator and ex-prosecutor called on Gov. Jerry Brown to pardon him. A spokesman for the state's juvenile detention system said they will help the boy.

FAQ: California's prison realignment policy 2 years later

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s order to reduce overcrowding in California’s prisons, leading to significant changes in the state's criminal justice system.

Realignment: Some women serving more of their time in jail (photos)

A program that shifted thousands of low-level offenders from state prisons to local jails was supposed to dramatically impact women in prison, but advocates say nothing has changed.

Lawsuit may end deal to send LA County inmates to Kern County

A contract to send 512 Los Angeles county jail inmates to a facility in Taft in the Central Valley may be killed as early as next week, after the discovery of legal hurdles.

Leader of Northeast LA gang sentenced to 25 years in prison

Rudy Aguirre Jr. was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison Monday after admitting to taking part in two murders in Northeast L.A.

Probation Department understaffed amid growing responsibilities

Even as the threat of taking in more former state prisoners looms over Los Angeles County, the county's lead agency on realignment remains understaffed.

LAPD officer pleads not guilty to assaulting suspect

Mary O'Callaghan is accused of repeatedly kicking Alesia Thomas, who later died of undetermined causes. Her attorney says the veteran officer will fight the felony charge.

Legislators hear testimony on California prison conditions

The meeting in Sacramento on Wednesday delved into conditions inside California's most secure lockups, including the controversial SHU – security housing units.

LA Sheriff's Department gets $29 million to implement jail reforms

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to send $29 million to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department to clamp down on jail violence.

Hard time or inhumane? Corcoran prison's SHU - Security Housing Units (Photos)

The controversial facilities are the subject of a federal lawsuit and an upcoming legislative hearing, but the prison warden says they are "not operating a dungeon."

USC murders: Evidence against accused men revealed in court

The men accused of murdering two USC graduate students from China last year appeared in court Monday to hear evidence against them.

Camp ranger's lawsuit for Dorner reward money hits a bump

A judge Friday dismissed part of a lawsuit brought by Richard Heltebrake, who says he helped police find ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. He still has cases against two cities.

LA law enforcement tells watchdog the struggles of prison realignment

A state watchdog agency visiting California's largest county got an earful on the state's prison realignment policy Thursday.