Rina Palta News Reporter
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
Two more sheriff’s deputies are accused of beating an inmate in a 2009 incident that a jail chaplain says he witnessed. Thirteen other deputies were indicted in December.
On Wednesday, Bryan Barnes, 21, pled guilty to murdering Ying Wu and Ming Qu — an admission that will land him in prison for the rest of his life.
Prosecutors say the case against Martin Springer has been dropped after the alleged victim declined to testify.
Police say Barnes and another suspect killed two Chinese engineering students in the West Adams neighborhood. Prosecutors have agreed not to seek the death penalty in exchange for the plea.
There's a new sheriff in L.A. County. John Scott was sworn in Thursday as interim head of the nation's largest Sheriff's Department, two hours after Baca officially retired.
Scott pledged to address some of the problems that have led to recent scandals within one of the country's largest law enforcement agencies. He is expected to start on Thursday.
Scott retired from the LA County Sheriff's Department, where he rose through the ranks to run the jails. He pledges that the reforms that are underway to clean up the troubled department will continue.
Last week, researchers from the University of California - Berkeley handed over a list of potentially earthquake-vulnerable L.A. buildings to city officials.
An oversight body of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. found progress in how it handles discipline and inmate abuse allegations. But it also points to areas where there is work to be done.
"Serious" use of force incidents dropped in LA County jails in 2013. But the overall use of force rose, especially at Twin Towers Correctional Facility, which houses L.A.'s mentally ill inmates.
The supervisors met out of the public eye in closed session. They have scheduled another meeting for Thursday to again discuss an interim sheriff.
Figures released Tuesday show a decline in the number of employees arrested. The employees union president downplayed the statistics, saying they go up and down all the time.
An unusually rowdy meeting of a state corrections board Thursday drew malcontent county sheriffs and anti-jail protesters to an L.A. County jail in Lynwood.
L.A. County's risk specialists told the Board of Supervisors that costs associated with litigation have dropped. But they warned it may increase due to recent issues at the sheriff's department.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will convene in closed session Tuesday to discuss temporary replacements for retiring Sheriff Lee Baca.