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

Study: Different attorneys, different outcomes in juvenile court

A new study finds that indigent juvenile defendants assigned private attorneys in L.A. County may be at a disadvantage in court. Officials are beginning to address the issue.

Northridge man accused of killing 4 to stand trial for murder

Ka Pasasouk was ordered to stand trial on murder charges in the slaying four people outside in Northridge in December 2012 after being mistakenly released from custody.

Preliminary testimony begins in Northridge quadruple murder case

Ka Pasasouk, a man accused of murdering four people outside an unlicensed Northridge boarding house in December, heard the first testimony against him Monday.

LA largely disregards 'split sentencing' alternatives to incarceration (PHOTOS)

As L.A. County considers building a new jail, reform advocates push alternatives like "split sentencing," where convicts serve some time outside of jail.

Zimmerman protests enter 5th night in Los Angeles region (Update)

The event marked the fifth night that protests have been in seen in Los Angeles over the verdict in the controversial criminal case.

Zimmerman protests enter 4th night in downtown LA, Leimert Park

A protest organized by the ANSWER Coalition began at City Hall and moved on to other sites downtown, while Occupy LA planned a "bike bloc" in Leimert Park. No unrest has been reported.

LA supervisors discuss replacing Men’s Central Jail (Charts)

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors Tuesday discussed possible replacements for the crumbling Men’s Central Jail in Downtown L.A. Protesters urged them to look at alternatives.

LA County to fight release of serial rapist Christopher Evans Hubbart

The Los Angeles DA is challenging the release of a Pasadena man who's admitted raping at least 40 women in California, including 25 in Los Angeles.

Report: LA needs a new jail with mental health focus

According to a construction firm, L.A. County's most dire need is proper facilities for its inmates with mental health, substance abuse and medical problems.

Dog shooting video: Hawthorne police receive threats

Chief Robert Fager asked for public calm after a video showing one of his officers killing a dog generated outrage from across the world.

#ProjectCitizen: Jury duty is one of the few requirements of citizenship

In 2011, about 2.3 million people were sent jury summons in L.A. County. About half actually reported for duty. And many of those made excuses to get out of their civic responsibility.

UPDATE: Suspect found dead in shooting of LAPD officer in the face

The officer and a county probation officer were searching a home in Willowbrook when they were fired upon Tuesday evening. They are both expected to survive.

Police Commission questions why Christopher Dorner was ever hired by LAPD

Police Commission approves report calling firing of Christopher Dorner "just," as some question how the ex-cop was ever hired in the first place.

Watts housing project has first homicide in almost two years

Early Sunday morning, a man was fatally shot outside Imperial Courts — the first person killed there since August, 2011.

Photos: CicLAvia rolls past Wilshire Boulevard's iconic architecture

Bikers, skateboarders, and pedestrians zoomed and meandered down Wilshire Blvd. Sunday, the first CicLAvia event through the city's art deco center.