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

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.

Report finds some progress in foster care reform in LA

It's been almost a year since a blue ribbon panel declared a "state of emergency" in L.A. county's child welfare system. A new report says there's been some progress since.

LA youth fall through cracks in social services, report says

A research team found youth in L.A. County's juvenile justice system had fallen through cracks in the county's social services — something that could be prevented with better data sharing.

LA County looking to add more vouchers for homeless veterans

A county official said the Housing Authority is hoping to add hundreds of housing vouchers for homeless veterans a day after KPCC reported the county was falling short.

GOP's proposed cuts to food stamps would hurt San Bernardino

Among the cost-saving targets of the Republicans' federal budget proposal unveiled this week is food stamps — and that's worrisome to some.

How Prop 47 tanks drug courts

Drug courts have been heralded as a successful and humane option for drug addicts. But when Proposition 47 made possession a misdemeanor, it limited eligibility to enroll in drug courts.

Skid Row police shooting update: shooting will be early test of body camera policy

Three officers, one of whom is a sergeant, shot a man as they struggled on the ground for control of one of the officer's weapons, after a stun gun proved ineffective, police said.

Supervisor says seedy motels profiting from LA County funds

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has proposed requiring hotels that accept homeless housing vouchers to take measures to prevent sex trafficking in their rooms.

State sees flurry of attention to foster care reform

The past few months, legislators have proposed a series of bills to address what some child welfare advocates believe are the system's biggest flaws.

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.