Rina Palta

Criminal Justice Reporter/Editor

Rina Palta reports on criminal justice for KALW News.  Through stories of those affected by the system, she hopes to bring insight to an often misunderstood, polarizing, and politicized issue.  Rina came to KALW from a print background, having worked in magazines for a number of years before being pulled into broadcast while earning a masters degree at UC Berkeley's School of Journalism.  Along with KALW, her work has been published in Mother Jones magazine, the San Francisco Weekly, and Hyphen magazine.  Rina edits and writes for KALW's criminal justice blog, The Informant, where you can find news and analysis on all aspects of California's criminal justice world.



Wed February 8, 2012
Cops & Courts

Community project helps incarcerated and those affected bounce back

Photo courtesy of Project What

Community Works started working with inmates in San Francisco's jail system in 1997. Since then, the program has grown to include programs for men who have committed domestic violence and for children with incarcerated parents. On Saturday, Community Works is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a benefit show at the Brava Theater in San Francisco. KALW's criminal justice editor Rina Palta sat down with a team from Community Works to discuss where the program has been, and where it’s going.

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Wed February 1, 2012
Cops & Courts

A look inside California’s toughest prison

Photo by Rina Palta

If you’re convicted of committing a felony in California, you can end up in many kinds of prisons. Steal a lot of money in a Ponzi scheme – you might end up in minimum security. Locked up, but with little supervision. Commit a violent crime, and you could be sent to a medium-security prison, like Folsom. Kill someone, and you could be headed for supermax.

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Wed January 18, 2012
Arts & Culture

A writer's take on prisons and a historic prison break

Photo courtesy of http://7thvictim.com/inmate-1577.php

Local author Alan Jacobson writes thrillers, including a popular series that follows the exploits of FBI profiler Karen Vail. His most recent book in the series, Inmate 1577, takes place in San Francisco – specifically, Alcatraz. Jacobson did extensive research on prison life in the 1960s, particularly at the Federal Penitentiary at Alcatraz.

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Thu January 12, 2012
Cops & Courts

How incarceration affects families: Interview with Lateefah Simon

Lateefah Simon is the director of the California Futures Initiative at the Rosenberg Foundation in San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Rosenberg Foundation

Nationally, women are the fastest growing prison population. And one of the highest female prison populations in the world is here in California. That's slated to change under the state's new realignment program. The number of women in prison is supposed to shrink drastically, by as much as half, over the next few years.

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Thu January 5, 2012
Cops & Courts

Unexpected stats about the revolving door to prison

Dan4th Nicholas

As with much conventional wisdom on crime and punishment, popular notions of what actually causes recidivism--people cycling repeatedly in and out of prison--don't hold up when you look at the statistics. California's latest report analyzing its notoriously high (currently 65 percent) recidivism rate contains an array of numerical nuggets that shed new light on the cycle of crime. A sampling:

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