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

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.

LA County officials propose selling off public housing

The agency is hoping to sell off 38 buildings, which house about 772 people scattered across the southern fringes of the county. The price: about $35 million.

Housing homeless has been Darwinian game, advocates say

Some advocates say getting housing for homeless has been a system of "survival of the fittest." But that's changing in Los Angeles.

LA County agrees to end racial discrimination in the Antelope Valley

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has approved an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to address issues of racial discrimination in the Antelope Valley.

New program targets intergenerational child abuse

L.A. county is trying to figure out what services to provide foster youth so they can avoid repeating their parents' mistakes.

Los Angeles may create city 'homeless czar'

Some L.A. council members want to create a committee to develop a comprehensive homeless policy. Among the questions: whether L.A. should hire a homeless czar.

LA discovers wrinkle in effort to house homeless veterans

Cities across the country are rushing to house all homeless veterans by the end of this year, a goal set by the Obama administration. Some are falling through the cracks.

After a year of foster care reforms, results still murky

It's been a year since a commission declared a "state of emergency" in L.A.'s child welfare system and proposed dozens of reforms. How do we know if they're working?

LA's drug courts could open up to more serious crimes

L.A.'s public safety leaders are considering a proposal to save the county's drug courts by offering higher level offenders an opportunity to participate.

County budget focuses on improving jails, child welfare

L.A. County's proposed budget rose to $26.9 billion this year. Most of the slight increase will go to jails, public health, and foster care.

City council to vote on expanding pilot to house homeless

The L.A. City Council Wednesday is slated to vote on expanding a model for rapidly housing homeless individuals. The "coordinated entry" system began on Skid Row.

LA jails seek to expand mental health staff to avoid DOJ lawsuit

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department wants to hire 77 employees as part of an anticipated agreement with the federal government on improving jail conditions.

Parolees now eligible for Section 8 in LA County

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to loosen restrictions on who can apply for Section 8 rental vouchers. Parole and probation are no longer forbidden.

Developers slowly increase housing beyond Skid Row

Traditionally, services for the homeless have been concentrated in L.A.'s Skid Row. But service providers are making a push to the suburbs, where many homeless live.

In reversal, LA supes to consider allowing parolees in public housing

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to lift restrictions on who has access to public assistance for housing to allow ex-cons.