Revealed: Assaults on Corrections officers continue to rise

The number of Corrections officers who have been assaulted by prisoners isn't slowing down.

There were 907 assaults on prison staff in the past financial year. That's up on the previous year and almost double the 463 in 2016/17.

In total, officers have been assaulted 3482 times since. Documents obtained by Newshub show gangs are behind 77 percent of those assaults.

A former Corrections officer's life changed when he went to work several years ago.

"I was king-hit from behind by a prisoner and not long after that I was again king-hit from behind when I was trying to close the door to a wing and I was also again knocked unconscious," they said.

It's had a significant impact on their career.

"I've been diagnosed with PTSD, mild to severe depression and that comes and goes and I suffer anxiety on a daily basis."

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis admits "with an increased number of gang members out in the community. Police are arresting them, Corrections are locking them up, we've got to keep our community safe as well".

Of all the gang assaults, 40 percent have resulted in injuries, many requiring treatment and even hospitalisation. 128 assaults were classified as serious where officers can require ongoing medical intervention, and police charges are laid.

"Every single assault should be referred to police and our Corrections officers need to be given more tools to keep themselves safe on the job. There needs to be a review around their personal protective equipment and there needs to be a trial around tasers," says National Corrections spokesperson Simeon Brown.

The Government claims the violence is being addressed.

"Corrections and the unions are working on a violence and aggression plan to reduce the numbers of assaults and keep our officers safe," Davis says.

Those on the frontline want action now.

"We haven't got the back up or the appropriate training to keep our officers safe."