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

USC steps up safety as new semester starts

It's moving week at USC and as students flood into campus over the next few days, they'll be returning to a campus that's revamped security over the summer.

Report: LA among counties sending more to prison

A new report by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice echoes widespread concerns that California may not be on track to quickly reduce its prison population.

State high court overturns 110-year sentence for juvenile

That issue came up in a case out of Los Angeles County, in which a 16-year-old shot at three rival gang members, wounding one in the shoulder.

Clerk arrested for allegedly leaking confidential files

Nune Gevorkyan and her husband Oganes Koshkaryan have been charged with obstruction of justice and, if found guilty, face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.

Burglars take advantage of open windows amidst heatwave

Along with school closures, dehydration, and flex alerts, we're hearing about another side-effect of L.A.'s ongoing heatwave.

Friend your local cops online: Police on social media

Two recent surveys of law enforcement agencies found that more and more, police are reaching out to the public directly through social media.

Stephen Downing: From drug warrior to anti-prohibition activist

Retired Deputy Chief Stephen Downing spent 20 years with the LAPD, heading up the Narcotics Division. Now, he's part of a group that wants the government to legalize and regulate drugs

Caravan for Peace received by LA City Council

A "Caravan for Peace" that's travelling the country drawing attention to Mexico drug violence visited an L.A. City Council meeting, invited by Councilman Jose Huizar.

Caravan for Peace asks for an end to the drug war

The event was part of a month-long tour of the U.S. by Mexican peace activist Javier Sicilia to draw attention to drug violence.

Is a 175-year sentence different from life without parole?

The California Supreme Court is currently considering a case that will determine what the state considers "life without parole" — for juveniles.

Photos: 'Onion Field' killer Gregory Powell dies at age 79

Gregory Powell, known as one of the kidnappers whose case was made famous in the book "The Onion Field," has died at age 79.

Art Walk drama-free; no arrests despite chalking

As Thursday came to a close, despite predictions of clashes between police and visiting Occupy Oakland activists, all was peaceful downtown.

Police make arrests hours before start of ArtWalk/ChalkWalk [Updated]

Two have been arrested so far in the hours leading up to what will likely be a large Occupy event—all parties involved say they want tonight to be a peaceful evening.

ChalkWalk returns to Downtown L.A.'s ArtWalk

Last month's Downtown ArtWalk descended into chaos after an Occupy L.A. event called "ChalkWalk" migrated into the main fray of the arts and culture event.

Death as a bargaining chip: necessary or evil?

To avoid a potential death penalty, Jared Loughner pled guilty to murdering six people and wounding others in a Tucson shooting spree.