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

LA supervisors to consider $2 billion jail building plan

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors will meet Tuesday to discuss plans to replace the decrepit Men’s Central Jail. The project could be one of the costliest in L.A.'s history.

Suicidal LA jail inmate, later found dead, was left alone for hours

Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies assigned to check on a suicidal Twin Towers inmate left him alone for nearly three hours, in violation of department protocol.

Family of man killed by LA Co. sheriff's deputies files $25M claim (update)

John Winkler's family filed the claim Tuesday. The sheriff's department said he was accidentally killed by deputies when they mistook him for a kidnapping suspect. A county official said he wants to resolve it quickly.

Long Beach trauma center offers help to violent crime victims

A new trauma recovery center in Long Beach opened this month with the goal of providing counseling services to crime victims who don't usually seek help.

Slain TSA agent's family files $25 million claim over LAX shooting (update)

A law firm has filed a $25 million claim against the City of Los Angeles on behalf of the wife and family of a security screener killed in a gunman's attack at LAX.

More foster parents needed to care for vulnerable kids

L.A. County is desperately trying to find homes for kids with mental illness, who are often bumped around the foster care system and at high risk for poverty and incarceration. It has embarked on an effort to recruit 140 more foster parents.

LA County leaders disagree over foster care reform

A blue ribbon commission report on the ills of L.A. County's foster care system received a mixed reception at the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. The panel voted to study it further and revisit the issue on May 20.

Body scanners will replace strip searches at LA County jails

A pilot program to replace strip searchers with body scanners at L.A.'s county is intended to reduce tension between inmates and deputies. It comes as use of force incidents rose slightly over last year.

LA deputies mistakenly shoot hostage; suspect charged with murder

Murder charges have been filed against a man accused of holding three people hostage in a West Hollywood apartment.

Report: LA County must implement reforms at DCFS (update)

The report concluded: "In eight months of hearing hundreds of hours of testimony, the Commission never heard a single person defend our current child safety system." Officials reacting to the report say the entire child welfare system needs to be changed.

La Habra quake: Damage estimates rise, officials seek aid

Orange County sustained about $10.8 million in damage to public property after a 5.1 earthquake shook the region on March 28, according to the latest estimates.

LAX shooting: Bonin calls for community-oriented disaster planning at airport

The Los Angeles International Airport was unprepared for evacuating and communicating with passengers and the surrounding community during November's shooting, the councilman said.

LAPD: Man accused of shooting officer at station had applied for LAPD job

The LAPD says suspect Daniel Christopher Yealu had at least five more weapons in his apartment and dozens of rounds of ammunition. Neighbors at the apartment complex described a man matching Yealu's description as a loner.

Report: California crime victims have trouble getting help

Researchers convened focus groups of people touched by violent crime and found many who said they had trouble accessing programs. They are calling on officials to make it easier to access services.

Friday's 5.1 OC earthquake caused $2.6 million in damage

Repair costs for the three cities hardest hit are not enough to qualify automatically for federal disaster assistance, but an expert says they can appeal.