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Prior to 1958, a small Jail was located at Delhi Gate area of Delhi. In 1958, the prison was transferred from Delhi Gate to a site on the land of Tihar Village in western part of New Delhi. In the beginning, only one Central Jail  was  commissioned  with  the  lodging capacity  of  1273  prisoners. Till  1966,  the  administrative control of Delhi Jails was with the Government of the state of Punjab. The same was transferred to the Delhi Administration, Delhi in 1966. There was applicability of Punjab Jail manual on Delhi Jails upto April 1988 when Delhi Jail Manual was drafted and came into force. There was no full-fledged post of Inspector General of Delhi Prisons till March 1986 and this work was being additionally shouldered by the Dy. Commissioner, Delhi. In 1986, the full fledged post of Inspector General was created and was headed by a senior IPS officer. The prison population gradually grew and consequently new jails were constructed as reflected below: 




Central Jail commissioned at Tihar with a sanctioned capacity of 1273 prisoners


District Jail constructed with a sanctioned capacity to lodge 740 prisoners


The existing Central jail was trifurcated during this period as Central Jail No.1, 2 & 3 having sanctioned capacity for each jail as 565, 455 & 740 prisoners respectively.

 1990 District Jail was elevated to Central Jail and designated as Central Jail No. 4

Central Jail No.5 commissioned with a sanctioned capacity of 750 prisoners for keeping adolescents inmates (between the age group of 18 to 21 years)

 2000 Central Jail No.6 commissioned for exclusively lodging 400 female prisoners
 2003 Central Jail No.7 commissioned for lodging 350 prisoners
 2004 District Jail, Rohini commissioned for lodging 1050 prisoners
 2005 Central Jail No. 8&9 commissioned for lodging 600 prisoners each



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