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

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.

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.