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

Sick and dying inmates expensive for county jails

LA had 10 jail inmates that cost the county $908,312 between October 2011 and April 2012, according to a report by the Bay Citizen.

FBI: Preliminary data show violent crime down in 2011

Initial findings from the annual Uniform Crime Report are out, and appear to contain good news: violent crime went down 4 percent in 2011 nationwide.

Arizona is the new medical marijuana 'it' state

California has long seen itself as a pioneer in medical marijuana, but with the industry in disarray, key localities like LA are not stepping up to the challenge.

Defendants will stand trial in Bryan Stow beating case

After six days of witness testimony and multiple jailhouse recordings, a judge Friday ordered Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood to stand trial.

Dodger Stadium beating suspects ordered to stand trial

Both suspects in the Bryan Stow case have been ordered to stand trial for assault and battery in the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Stow at Dodger Stadium.

Bryan Stow case: Defendant aggressive if drunk, sister says

Dorene Sanchez testified in the hearing that will decide whether her brother, Louie Sanchez, and her fiancé, Marvin Norwood, will face trial for assault and mayhem.

Witness IDs Bryan Stow beating suspects from the stand

This morning, the court heard testimony from Mary Dolores Donley, who said she was parked near the spot where Bryan Stow fell to the ground.

PEW: Long prison terms not worth the money

On Wednesday, the PEW Center on the States released a study centered around a surprising fact: states now spend $51 billion a year on corrections.

Bryan Stow's friend testifies about day of beating

Corey Maciel paused to collect himself while testifying in the preliminary hearing that will determine whether there’s enough evidence to send suspects to trial.

Police asking for help finding killer of Watts child

Angel Cortez was fatally shot while in his father's arms Monday night, near the corner of 105th and Hickory Streets in South Los Angeles.

City Council revokes permit for Skid Row hotel

The Los Angeles City Council revoked the operating permit for the Travelers Hotel. Meanwhile, the property's owners and operators vowed to sue the city.

Skid Row hotel faces shutdown over prostitution, drug claims

The Travelers has been the “ugliest wart” in a neighborhood full of warts for decades. Now it faces shutdown.

Senate votes down lower drug possession penalties

The vote wasn't very close: 24 against, 11 in favor of reducing possession of small amounts of illegal drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor.

California sued over prison isolation cells

The Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit in federal court Thursday on behalf of inmates in California's most isolated, restrictive prison cells.

Federal control of prison health care will not end this year

Judge Thelton Henderson released an order Wednesday regarding California's plan for getting its prison medical system out from under federal receivership.