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

California cities criminalizing the homeless, study says

With an increase in homelessness, California cities have increasingly cracked down on things like sitting and sleeping in public, according to a new study.

VA vows to find homes for 650 vets in 100 days

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Friday announced the first details of a plan to revamp the agency's West Los Angeles campus to house homeless veterans.

LAPD blames gangs for jump in murders this year

So far, 29 people have been murdered in Los Angeles in 2015, up from 23 at this time last year. Most of the spike is happening in LA's poorest neighborhoods.

CA's mental hospitals have long wait lists and empty beds

In December, the LAO counted 588 empty beds, which cost the state about $230,000 each year - despite having a wait list of 550 patients.

Frontrunner for LA Sheriff weathered spate of officer-involved shootings

A rash of officer-involved shootings in Long Beach in 2013 provoked questions about Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell, the frontrunner in the race for sheriff.

Probation targeting doctors who enable workers' comp fraud

L.A. County's Probation Department is checking on doctors who approve questionable workers' compensation claims.

New mentally ill offender program held out as model

A pilot program in Van Nuys will seek to keep low-level, mentally ill homeless arrestees out of jail. Officials say it could be the key to solving a chronic problem.

Questionable injury claims spur investigations at Probation Dept.

A review of three years' of Probation Department workers' compensation claims turns up dozens of questionable cases, such as falling out of chairs or tripping in parking lots.

Sheriff deputy found guilty of obstruction, conspiracy

L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy James Sexton was found guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy Tuesday in his second trial before a federal jury.

Child welfare agency investigating death of Signal Hill boy

The L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services says it's launched an internal investigation into whether a Signal Hill boy's death was preventable.

Police don't have to share license plate data, judge rules

An L.A. County Superior Court judge ruled that local police do not have to share license plate data gathered through automatic scanners with the public.

Compton school board member calls for assault weapon reversal

One member of the Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees is calling for the board to rescind its recent policy change allowing some officers to have assault weapons.

Deputy says he'll call former Sheriff Lee Baca as trial witness

An L.A. County sheriff's deputy on trial for trying to thwart an FBI investigation said he'll call former Sheriff Lee Baca as a witness in his September trial.

Deputy accused in informant-hiding plot returns to court

A Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy accused of conspiracy and obstruction of justice for allegedly helping hide an FBI informant returns to court Monday.

Audit finds gaps in LAPD security camera system

An audit by the Office of the Inspector General found the Los Angeles Police Department's station security camera system "inadequate," failing to capture important footage.