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

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.

LA County to send hundreds of jail inmates to Kern County

In a deal meant to relieve L.A. County's strained jails, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to send hundreds of inmates to a facility near Bakersfield.

SoCal Catholics largely supportive of Pope Francis' message

In Los Angeles, the largest base of Catholics in the nation, Pope Francis' message of openness and inclusiveness resonates with local faithful.

Police say Norwalk pastor assaulted at least 20 women

An assistant pastor and counselor at Las Buenas Nuevas Church in Norwalk allegedly assaulted at least 20 women in the church's congregation between 2004 and 2012.

Some county jail inmates headed to state fire camps

As L.A. County deals with jail population issues, the Board of Supervisors approved a contract to send hundreds of felons to state-run fire camps.

LA County supervisors disagree on more oversight for sheriff

LA County supervisors Tuesday quarreled over a proposal to establish a civilian commission to oversee the embattled LA County Sheriff's Department.

Orange County DA: Children were poisoned by suicidal mother

The Orange County District Attorney's office said Monday that Marilyn Edge poisoned her two children, as more details emerged in the circumstances surrounding their deaths.