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

Married fugitives wanted for attempted murder after escape

Darnell Washington escaped jail last week, likely with his wife's help, which was followed by a shootout with an L.A. Sheriff's deputy and a string of car jackings.

More details emerge in death of woman in LAPD custody

On Jully 22, Alesia Thomas stopped breathing while in the back of an LAPD patrol car. Officers called paramedics and Thomas was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Woman dies in LAPD custody, officers under investigation

A woman under investigation for child endangerment died in the back of a patrol car in July, LAPD said Thursday. Five officers are under investigation.

Defense to review 'Grim Sleeper' serial killer case ballistics

It looks like court proceedings for Lonnie Franklin, the man accused of being the South Los Angeles "Grim Sleeper" serial killer, will be slow.

Police Commission OK's changes to counterterrorism program

The Police Commission codified changes to a counterterrorism program known as "Suspicious Activity Reporting" after civil liberties groups complained.

Chief Beck 'disappointed' with LAPD SWAT officers selling guns

Chief Charlie Beck said he was "disappointed" when he first heard about members of the LAPD's elite SWAT unit buying and reselling guns at a hefty profit.

3 arrested in Hollywood shooting, explosive turns out to be 'prop'

A man allegedly opened fire on a group of construction workers from a Hollywood apartment complex, prompting a police search and disrupting rush-hour traffic.

Three lessons on search and seizure, courtesy of Jay Z

For a mere $1.29 on iTunes, Jay Z's 99 Problems offers some of the cheapest, most comprehensive advice you can find on how to handle a traffic stop.

Police, feds indict meth ring tied to Mexical drug cartel

A federal indictment unsealed Thursday brings charges against 27 members of an alleged meth smuggling operation out of Pomona and Ontario, California.

Venice arrest sparks anger at LAPD use of force

LAPD arrested a skateboarder on Saturday night, who says he suffered a fractured cheek and swollen nose in the incident that has since sparked protests.

Is USC's 'sketchy neighborhood' reputation fair?

USC faces an issue that all urban schools have: student safety. And the school has a reputation, deserved or not, for being in a "sketchy" area.

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.