Hastings detectives are investigating a violent assault on a corrections officer.
The attack, by a prisoner at Hawke's Bay Prison, occurred last Saturday and left the officer with a fractured eye socket and a deep cut to his cheek.
The officer, in his late 40s, believed the prisoner had been smoking, which is now forbidden in prisons. He was conducting a strip search when the prisoner attacked.
A colleague came to the officer's assistance and fought the prisoner off.
Hastings detective Brendan Campbell said police were investigating and ''charges are imminent''.
Corrections prison services general manager Jeanette Burns said the officer was recuperating at home. The prisoner had been relocated to another prison.
''We take the issue of violence in prisons extremely seriously and our priority is staff safety. Corrections will not tolerate prisoners using violence against staff or other prisoners, and the prisoner involved will be held to account for their actions.
''Prisoners can be volatile and unpredictable and many have long histories of antisocial behaviour and resort to violence with little warning,'' Burns said.
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