The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) March 2, 2001 Friday, FINAL EDITION SECTION: NEWS; Pg. A3; STATE BRIEFS LENGTH: 126 words HEADLINE: Committee approves bill on prison guards BYLINE: From Wire Reports BODY: RALEIGH -- A Senate committee recommended for approval Thursday legislation that would give police power to guards at a new, privately run prison for federal inmates in Hertford County. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration. The Senate Judiciary II Committee approved the bill even though several of its members expressed strong reservations about privately run prisons. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Frank Ballance, a Warren County Democrat, said the move was the only way to ensure the safety of the community around the prison being built near Winton. Wackenhut Corrections Corp. plans to open the prison later this month. It will house 1,200 low-risk inmates now held in crowded jails in Washington, D.C.