Rina Palta News Reporter

Staff Photos
Contact Rina Palta

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

Santa Ana site crashes amid crush of people seeking rental assistance

While waitlists for Section 8 vouchers around the country remain closed, Santa Ana opened their application process last week to a stampede of interest.

LA County picks firm to research downsizing jail system

How many jail beds does the county really need? Some argue plans for a $2 billion jail are too big. Consultants' report meant to settle the debate.

Lack of storage makes homeless camp clean-up laws toothless

L.A.'s City Council last week gave approved ordinances to sweep up the proliferation of tent encampments. But where will they store the homeless's personal items?

Think California's housing crisis is tough in LA? Try Coachella.

Lack of housing in the Coachella Valley is driving the working poor into unsanitary, unsafe and un-permitted mobile home parks.

LA gets chunk of $59 million federal grant to help ex-cons

The U.S. Department of Labor is making a $4.5 million investment in employment programs and vocational training for Southern California's ex-offenders.

Quadruplets in foster care buck graduation odds

Less than half of L.A. County's foster youth graduate from high school — and fewer still graduate from college. But some overcome those odds.

LA's vacancy rate will drop to 2 percent, officials say

Historically low vacancy rates keep dropping in Los Angeles, officials say. And that's hurting the city's Section 8 program.

LA Supervisors vote to suspend jail overhaul

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to suspend a $2 billion overhaul of the county's jails.

LA County tackles homeless ex-felon problem

L.A. County's Probation Department will start paying the rent for hundreds of homeless probationers. The program's designed to eventually find ex-felons jobs.

Foster care system shifts to relatives, but doesn't offer support

County leaders are looking for ways to better support relatives who take in foster children. Child welfare advocates say they've been woefully ignored.

Anti-poverty bills may pile up on Governor Brown's desk

As legislative deadlines near, handfuls of bills aimed at helping the poor are advancing through the state legislature this week.

Could a model of moderation bring more to rehab?

Some rehab centers are offering a moderation approach to alcohol, even for severe drug addicts. Addiction researchers are taking notice.

Higher minimum wage could reduce reliance on social programs, study finds

The L.A. City Council's vote to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 could reduce reliance on social safety net institutions, a UC Berkeley study finds.

Census: Federal welfare programs mostly used short term

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show people who use public benefits often drop out after a couple of years, rather than lingering.

State bill proposes fee to deal with affordable housing issue

Assembly Bill 1335 would add a $75 fee to some real estate transactions and put that money in a fund to build subsidized housing.