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Mississippi Regional Center
South Highway 7
Oxford, MS 38655
July 8, 1997
Dear Detective Armstrong,
Thank you for your letter inquiring about various aspects of our operations. As members of this peaceful community we are deeply sorrowed by Ms. Knight's death and are willing to help however we can. Following are responses to your specific questions.
(1) We have a total of 19 children aged 17 or younger in residence here, and another 14 who attend schooling sessions in the daytime and live at home. We have checked our files and obtained permission to submit the names of all four boys aged 9-11 in our care; three are in residence here, and the fourth is a day student who lives in Oxford. All live at the center and attend classes as befits their individual developmental disabilities. None have wandered beyond the boundaries of our campus; nor have any attempted to run away.
The children do have contact with the outside world on supervised field trips and trips to the University swimming pool in summertime; each child typically leaves the campus six or seven times per year, depending on his or her ability to function independently. On these excursions there are three children for every supervisor, so none are neglected and certainly there would be scant opportunity to become separated from the group.
Should you desire to meet the children in question or obtain their names or further information, do let us know.
(2) We currently have 43 adult men and women, aged 18 and over, on site. The adults entrusted to our care are typically individuals with severe developmental disabilities, and I doubt very strongly that any would be capable of the cunning required to execute the murder in question. The criminally insane are typically housed at the Jackson facility, as I'm sure you know.
Adults at the facility attend a range of classes both to acquire fundamental academics and to learn basic living skills. Those who are judged successful in their endeavors here are encouraged to work in the community, either as volunteers or in paid jobs. These workers are escorted to and from their places of employment each day, and live here at the center. In addition, some of our adult patients may be accompanied on outings by parents or guardians, who must, however, bring them back by 6 p.m.
All the bridges and roads leading into and out of our facility are secured with gates after visiting hours are over, and we do have a guard detail patrolling the walled boundaries of the property on foot both during the day and in the evening hours. A patient last attempted to leave the facility without permission in August of 1992, and was apprehended less than twenty minutes after he left; since then he has not attempted to repeat his escape. In 1994 a patient participating in a gardening project managed to walk to a remote area of the grounds, near the boundary wall, but was affable when nurses arrived to lead her back to her dormitory, and seems to have had no motivation for escape. We have had no escape attempts this year.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need any further details, please do not hesitate to call.
Jane Antinow

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