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

John Bryson's case referred to Los Angeles District Attorney

The Los Angeles District Attorneys office confirmed they're looking at the case of former Commerce Secretary John Bryson to see if criminal charges should be filed.

Long Beach scores largest port security grant, $6.9 million

The Department of Homeland Security dolled out $97 million in port security grants Monday, with the most money going to Long Beach's Harbor Department ($6.9 million).

Fireworks watch: Day 1, big busts drain supplies

Yes, that time is upon us, when as soon as the sun goes down, shots ring out across LA's neighborhoods: not gunshots (for the most part), but fireworks.

Political battle over the death penalty centered on victims

A November ballot initiative that would end the death penalty is highlighting law enforcement and crime victims at the masthead of the media campaign.

Lawsuit: Pasadena police officer accused of excessive force

In new court filings, a Pasadena police officer is accused of using excessive force against a man at the Rose Bowl in June 2011.

Man shot and killed Friday morning in Boyle Heights

Joe David Lobos, 24, was a block from home, on his way back from work, when he was shot and killed Friday morning at about 1:00.

Police officer deaths drop dramatically in 2012 thus far

According to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 2012 could be the safest year for police officers in six decades.

Teen charged with killing 1-year-old Watts boy

Donald Ray Dokins, 15, was charged Thursday with murder and attempted murder in a shooting that killed 1-year-old Angel Cortez on June 4.

California expected to spend less on prisons in coming years

According to Corrections Secretary Matt Cate, CDCR will take its portion of the of the general fund down to 7.5 percent in the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Change to juvenile prison time could save state millions

In the state budget, lies a small clause that could save the state hundreds of millions of dollars — and save juveniles years of incarceration.

California 'ahead of schedule' at reducing prison population

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says they're ahead of schedule in reducing the state's prison population.

LA Unified fires teacher accused of giving students pot

Los Angeles Unified announced Tuesday they've fired an employee who allegedly smoked weed to and from a baseball game with 14-16-year-old students.

Boyle Heights car theft binge appears to be winding down

Despite otherwise average-to-low crime rates this year, the Hollenbeck division, which includes Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, and El Sereno, is in the midst of an inexplicable car theft binge.

Why gangs are like both honeybees and lions

UCLA researchers have come up with a way of plotting street gang territories: a "mathematical model used to determine the hunting range of animals in the wild."

Assault charges for men involved in I-5 road rage video

Two men in the famous I-5 road-rage-caught-on-tape incident have been formally charged and a little more info is available from the District Attorney's office.