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

$50,000 reward offered for info on Westlake church murder

Anonymous witnesses have come forward in Sunday's murder outside a Westlake church, but not enough, police said, likely because they're scared.

Lawsuit blocks Prop 35 voter-approved sex trafficking law

A judge has granted a stay temporarily blocking implementation of Prop 35, a voter-approved sex trafficking law, while groups pursue a First Amendment challenge.

When will California's next execution happen?

California voters rejected Proposition 34, reaffirming their support for the death penalty. So when will executions resume? The courts are working on the issue.

Proposition 36: Three Strikes reform passes easily

California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 36, which amends the state's Three Strikes law.

California voters keep the death penalty, reject Prop 34

Proposition 34, the initiative that would have replaced the death penalty with life without parole in California, failed by more than 5 points.

LA Sheriff's department changes policy on sex in public

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is changing its policy towards lewd conduct, moving towards a policy that differs from many other law enforcement agencies in this country.

Pedro Espinoza sentenced to death in Jamiel Shaw Jr. murder

Friday afternoon, L.A. Superior Court Judge Ronald Rose sentenced Pedro Espinoza to death in the killing of high school football standout Jamiel Shaw Jr. in March 2008.

Judge expected to rule on death penalty for Jamiel Shaw's murderer

The March, 2008 murder sparked a debate over local immigration policies and Brown-on-Black violence in L.A. After four years, the case is expected to end Friday.

Juvenile crime drops to record low in CA

A new report by the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, youth crime levels in California dropped to its lowest level in 2011.

Report: Drug treatment has vast effect on reoffending

New figures from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation show recidivism rates are down for the second year in a row.

'Get out the vote' efforts go behind bars into LA's jails

In the last weeks before the Presidential election, 'get out the vote' efforts are in full gear nationwide. In L.A. County, they’re even going behind bars.

Updated: Hate crimes jump 15 percent in LA County

The LA County Commission on Human Relations released a report Wednesday which shows hate crimes increased 15 percent during 2011. Read the complete report.

Murdered students' parents accuse USC of misrepresenting crime

In court documents filed Monday, parents of two slain students accused USC of misrepresenting the safety of the neighborhood around the school.

CA prison tries high-tech approach to contraband cell phones

The number of contraband cell phones confiscated in California prisons has grown exponentially over the past few years, leaving prison officials scrambling.

UPDATE: ACLU: LA County Sheriff illegally held immigrants at jail

British director Duncan Roy is among numerous arrestees who claim they were detained for days or months due to federal immigration holds. Read the complete lawsuit.