Ohio prisoners in 'Real Men Crochet' group

May 9, 2012 at 4:59 PM

LEBANON, Ohio, May 9 (UPI) -- A group of 15 inmates at an Ohio maximum security prison have joined a "Real Men Crochet" program to make mittens, hats and other items for charity.

Jan Vurginac, who coordinates the program for prisoners at Lebanon Correctional Institution in Warren County, said the club started in 2008 and has since gained popularity among inmates eligible for extra privileges, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.

"Time goes by quick and they enjoy doing it for the children. It keeps them busy. Idle time is a big problem," Vurginac said.

The items made by the men are donated to groups including women's and homeless shelters, maternity programs, the Crayons to Computers free store for teachers in Cincinnati and the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

Robert Mack, who killed a Mount Airy man in a 2007 shootout, said crocheting gives him a positive way to pass his time in the prison.

"It takes up a lot of my time. It gives me something to do to keep myself active knowing that we helping people … to stay out of trouble," Mack said.

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