Rina Palta

Correspondent, Investigations

Contact Rina Palta

Rina Palta is a correspondent on KPCC's investigative team.

Prior to that, Rina covered California's social safety net for the station, with a particular focuses on homelessness. She's also served as a news editor for the station and covered crime and public safety as a reporter, looking at 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 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

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.

Study: Less kids in California prisons, but minority percentage is high

The number of juveniles incarcerated in the U.S. has dropped dramatically – including California. But not all ethnic and racial groups have benefitted equally.

LA County says foster care lawyers overwhelmed

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors Tuesday joined a chorus of public officials calling for investment in California's child welfare court system.

Orange County officials mull applying for earthquake aid

Local leaders in cities and towns most impacted by Friday's earthquake huddled in meetings Monday to tally the damages and determine whether to apply for aid.

Lawsuit: LA Sheriff's 'gang' harassed female trainees

An L.A. Sheriff's deputy has sued the department, claiming female trainees at the East L.A. station were routinely harassed by male training officers.

Ex-UCLA athletics official facing child porn charges

Michael Sondheimer, once the associate athletic director at the UCLA, is accused of having child pornography on his university work computer.