Police have charged a prisoner after an attack that left a Hawkes Bay guard with a fractured eye socket and a piece of his cheek missing.
The Hawkes Bay Regional Prison officer, believed to be an experienced guard in his late 40s, was attacked while conducting a strip search on a prisoner suspected of smoking on July 14.
The officer had to undergo serious surgery and had taken eight weeks leave to recover.
Police said today they had charged a 30-year-old inmate with wounding with intent to injure.
He will appear in Hastings District Court on August 7.
Corrections Association president Bevan Hanlon, who is also a corrections officer at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, said last week the guard was blind-sided and hit with a flurry of punches to the head.
"He had a piece of his cheek completely smashed out, fractured his eye socket and needs a metal plate inserted."
Corrections prison services general manager Jeanette Burns said last week it took violence in prisons "extremely seriously" and its priority was staff safety.