Neena Satija Reporter

Neena Satija is an investigative reporter and radio producer for the Tribune and Reveal, a public radio program from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Previously, she was the environment reporter at the Tribune. A native of the Washington, D.C. area, she graduated from Yale University in 2011, and then worked for the New Haven Independent, the Connecticut Mirror, and WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio. She has also been a regular contributor to National Public Radio. As an East Coast transplant she is particularly thrilled with Austin tacos and warm weather.

Recent Contributions

Texas attorney general on funding for sex-trafficking victims: "We'll take what we can get"

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called sex trafficking "one of the most heinous crimes facing our society" at a recent press conference. Estimates suggest there are 79,000 child victims of sex trafficking in Texas.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called sex trafficking "one of the most heinous crimes facing our society" at a recent press conference. Estimates suggest there are 79,000 child victims of sex trafficking in Texas.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said more should be done to help sex-trafficking victims and protect vulnerable children in Texas — but that it's not up to him to fund those efforts.  

Solutions: What Texas can do to help child sex-trafficking victims

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Rep. Senfronia Thompson D-Houston and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston during a press conference on Jan 12, 2017.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Rep. Senfronia Thompson D-Houston and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston during a press conference on Jan 12, 2017.

Over the past week, we’ve exposed how Texas leaders who crusade against sex trafficking have done almost nothing to help child trafficking victims. We asked those closest to the issue how they would begin addressing the problem. Here's what they said.

She was a sex-trafficking victim, but Texas law labeled her a pimp

Yvette, 24, was convicted of trafficking a 16-year-old girl in 2015. She is serving a 23-year sentence at a prison in Gatesville, Texas.
Yvette, 24, was convicted of trafficking a 16-year-old girl in 2015. She is serving a 23-year sentence at a prison in Gatesville, Texas.

Laws the state uses to put sex traffickers behind bars can sweep up their prey, too. A few years in age can mean the difference between a chance at rehabilitation and a lengthy prison sentence, as Yvette learned.

Texas couldn’t help this sex-trafficked teen, so authorities sent her to jail

17-year-old Lena waits to be released from the Harris County Jail, with a small bag of her possessions. Her mentor gave her a blue jumpsuit to wear over her skimpy clothes.
17-year-old Lena waits to be released from the Harris County Jail, with a small bag of her possessions. Her mentor gave her a blue jumpsuit to wear over her skimpy clothes.

No one wanted Lena behind bars. She was not a prostitute; she was a child who had been sexually exploited. But teenage sex-trafficking victims in Texas end up in jail for one simple reason: There's nowhere else for them to go.

When foster care couldn't help this 16-year-old, she ran to a pimp

Jean, pictured in her mother’s home in East Texas, was one of the roughly 12,000 Texas kids in long-term foster care when she ran away and was taken in by a Dallas pimp.
Jean, pictured in her mother’s home in East Texas, was one of the roughly 12,000 Texas kids in long-term foster care when she ran away and was taken in by a Dallas pimp.

After her father raped her, Jean became one of the roughly 12,000 Texas kids in long-term foster care, a system that often leaves children more damaged than when they arrive. For Jean, selling sex seemed like a safer bet.

How hollow rhetoric and a broken child welfare system feed Texas' sex-trafficking underworld

Pimps send their victims to "walk the track" on a stretch of Bissonnet Street in Houston. Anti-trafficking efforts in Texas have focused more on putting pimps in prison than rehabilitating their prey.
Pimps send their victims to "walk the track" on a stretch of Bissonnet Street in Houston. Anti-trafficking efforts in Texas have focused more on putting pimps in prison than rehabilitating their prey.

Texas leaders have publicly battled sex trafficking for more than a decade, but they’ve devoted hardly any resources to helping victims.

In their own words: How Texas pimps recruit and sell girls for sex

The shoes of a convicted pimp who is serving out his sentence in a Texas prison. Pimps say they use fear and shame to control their victims.
The shoes of a convicted pimp who is serving out his sentence in a Texas prison. Pimps say they use fear and shame to control their victims.

Texas Tribune reporters talked to three convicted traffickers to try to understand the power they wield over victims and the attraction of what they call "the lifestyle." Here they are in their own words. 

Boomtown, Flood Town: Unchecked development and the risks for Houston

Aerial shot of downtown Houston from the Montrose neighborhood during the "Tax Day Flood" on April 18, 2016.
Aerial shot of downtown Houston from the Montrose neighborhood during the "Tax Day Flood" on April 18, 2016.

Rapid development continues in Houston, creating some economic gains but also contributing to flood risks. This project, done in partnership with ProPublica, looks at those risks and the debate over what to do.