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

Crime rate in Los Angeles continues downward trend

If the statistics hold through the end of Tuesday, Los Angeles will see crime decline for the eleventh straight year in 2013.

Easing the transition for juveniles in custody back to their homes

LA County probation says many kids in custody perform well in juvenile camps, but too many go home and return to juvenile court. Officials seek to lower the recidivism rate by helping ease the transition.

Witness in Venice Beach boardwalk auto rampage: 'He didn't stop'

A witness in a court hearing Tuesday described the driver swerving from side-to-side on the pedestrian walkway.

$1.1 million in funding for crime victim centers coming to LA

The Victims Compensation Program awarded two grants to groups in Los Angeles County Thursday to bring medical and mental health services to crime victims.

Debate over how to best oversee the LA County Sheriff's Dept

Five indictments involving 18 deputies sparked questions over how to effectively oversee the department that runs the largest jail system in the United States.

LA County social workers strike, citing high caseloads

L.A. County social workers say their strike was a last resort after petitioning for months for lower caseloads. Officials say they're already hiring more social workers.

LA County social workers begin strike over caseloads, pay

The union representing about 4,000 social workers in LA County says the county won't hire more employees to deal with under-staffing and unmanageable caseloads.

LA County social workers likely to go on strike Thursday

Negotiations have broken down, at least temporarily, between county executives and the union representing county child welfare workers.

Researchers: LA County camp can be a model to rehab juvenile offenders

A pair of researchers say the transformation of an L.A. youth camp could set a new paradigm for juvenile justice in the county.

LA's social workers protest to demand lighter caseloads

Child welfare workers staged a protest outside the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors a day before the social workers' union returns to contract talks with the county.

LA's winter homeless shelters open for the season

Amid a growing homeless population and dwindling resources, L.A.'s winter shelters open Sunday for the rainier, colder winter season.

LA County deputy delivers holiday meals to military families

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Justin Cham is tasked with easing the transition for employees serving military deployments. On Thanksgiving, that means food.

Inglewood gunman who shot officer taken into custody, hostages freed

The gunman who allegedly shot an Inglewood police officer and holed up with two hostages was taken into custody Wednesday evening after a standoff.

County approves $722,000 settlement in jail inmate lawsuit

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved the payout to Dion Starr, who was an inmate in Men's Central Jail in 2006.

California to focus on lowering recidivism rate of ex-prisoners

Kamala Harris is launching a new office that will do research and help find funds to launch programs that are statistically proven to prevent crimes and and rehabilitate criminals.