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

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.

Advocates for CA's poor disappointed with Governor's budget

Governor Jerry Brown's revised budget includes $1.7 billion increase in spending for the poor, but advocates said that's only 10 percent of recessionary cuts.

Congresswoman vows to block sale of LA public housing

Congresswoman Maxine Waters says she'll ask the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to block L.A. County's proposed sale of 241 units of public housing.

Trial for high-ranking LA jail officials could be 'slugfest'

The U.S. Attorneys Office in L.A. has brought charges against high-ranking former officials in L.A.'s county jails. Legal experts anticipate a legal slugfest.

As homelessness increases, temporary housing disappears

This year's homeless census in L.A. found fewer homeless staying inside, in the very programs designed to transition individuals into permanent housing.

Homeless population jumps 12 percent in LA County

L.A.'s homeless census concluded with bad news Monday: There are more people sleeping on the streets and in their cars in the county than there were two years ago.

LA County considers encouraging businesses to hire ex-cons

Supervisor Hilda Solis is proposing incentives for county contractors to hire the formerly incarcerated, the same way they're now encouraged to hire vets.

Homeless numbers jump in Venice, where ire rises over shooting

A biennial count report due out Monday is expected to show a rise in the homeless in Venice, where an unarmed homeless man was killed by police this week.

Diverting mentally ill from jail gains political traction

State and local officials gathered in Sacramento to ask for more money for programs and call for a statewide summit to find new ways to tackle the problem.