Rina Palta Crime and Safety Reporter

Staff Photos
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

Teenager faces 90 years in prison for baby's murder

The gang member may have mistaken Mauro Cortez, the baby's father, for a rival gang member when he rode up on his bike, and opened fire.

UPDATE: LA County to look into adding treatment facility to jail

On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to research turning a part of the jail into a treatment facility for mental health and substance abuse issues.

Fire official, reality star pleads not guilty to arson

Compton's Deputy Fire Chief Marcel Melanson pled not guilty to arson, grand theft, and embezzlement charges Friday in a Los Angeles Superior Court.

UPDATE: Last of LAPD consent decree officially dismissed

A federal judge has formally dismissed the final remnants of the LAPD's decade-long consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. As city leaders celebrated, community leaders said they will keep an eye on the department.

UPDATE: Student in custody in Santa Monica, East LA college threats

Police are holding a suspect for questioning after an anonymous threat shut down local schools and sent parents and the news media into a panic Thursday.

Latinos accuse Compton School Police of racial profiling

A group of Latino parents sued the Compton Unified School District and its school police department, claiming their civil rights have been violated.

UPDATE: LA judge rejects carjacked camp ranger's Dorner reward request

A Los Angeles judge has denied the request made by a camp ranger, carjacked by rogue ex-LAPD cop Dorner, to block the dispersal of $1 million in reward money.

VIDEO: Arrest of students of color at USC spark questions about LAPD

Students described the police response as excessive and said it was because the revelers were mostly students of color. LAPD leaders deny the allegations.

LA County's new jails chief tours the Twin Towers jail

Terri McDonald is the new assistant sheriff, hired to clean up L.A. County’s jails in the midst of public pressure and a federal investigation. See what see she's during a recent tour of the jail.

UPDATE: Data hard to come by when tracking prison realignment's effects

Late Thursday night, Governor Jerry Brown submitted a reluctant plan to further reduce the number of inmates in California's prisons by about 9,000.

Judge: UCLA professor will stand trial in lab death

UCLA Professor Patrick Harran will stand trial on charges connected to the death of his lab assistant in 2008, a judge ruled Friday.

Updated: Reward tip led to fugitive Northridge kidnapping suspect

Summers, 30, was on his way back to L.A. after his capture in Baja California by Mexican authorities acting on information from the FBI.

LA probation chief will not support realignment expansion

State officials have a week and a half to come up with a plan to lower California's prison population by another 9,000 inmates. How will they do it?

UPDATE: As controller furloughs begin, flight delays hit LAX

An LAX spokesman said about 70 flights had delays of about an hour or more Sunday, but could not definitely say if it was due to staffing. The delays seem to have eased Monday morning.

Update: Increased security at LA-area weekend events

At the L.A. Times book festival, one attendee said there's more police than ever, while another said she's looking for suspicious packages in every trash can.