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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. Currently Delhi Prisons being operated according to new Delhi Jail Manual (2018) which was drafted and came in to force in January 2019.

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. As the prison population grew to a large number leads to establishment of many new jails and correctional personnel. To lead the department the requirement of new post arised and subsequently post of Additional Director General and Director General was created to head the prison department.

1) Evolution of Delhi Prisons

Year Evolution Done
1958 Central Jail commissioned at Tihar with a sanctioned capacity of 1273 prisoners
1980 District Jail constructed with a sanctioned capacity to lodge 740 prisoners
1984-85 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
1996 Central Jail No.5 commissioned with a sanctioned capacity of 750 prisoners for keeping adolescents inmates (between the age group of 18 of 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.
2008 Construction of Mandoli Jail Complex for lodging approx. 3500 prisoners begin in May, 2008 and the stipulated date of completion is December 2014.
2016 Jail no-14, Mandoli was made operational in Oct 2016, with sanction capacity of 588 inmates. And after this Central Jail-13 also commenced in December 2016 with sanction capacity of 980 inmates, this Jail is also having 52 bedded Jail Hospital of Mandoli Jail Complex.
2017 Jail no-15, the High Security Jail commenced in March 2017 with sanction capacity of 248 inmates. In July 2017 Central Jail-16, the Woman Jail with capacity of 492 inmates commenced.In September 2017 Central Jail-12 commenced with sanction capacity of 980 inmates. Later in October 2017 Central Jail-11 commenced in October 2017 with sanction capacity of 700 inmates.

The salient features of the new jail complex at Mandoli are :-

  • The complex house 6 Jails one for convicts, one for first time offenders, one each for long term under trials, adolescent, women and High Security prisoners.
  • Air Circulation System in all wards.
  • No electrical fixtures inside the wards.
  • Inbuilt mechanism for CCTV, Optical Fiber Cable Network.
  • Dual water supply system, Solar Heating System, R.O. System, Sewage Treatment Plant, Rain Water Harvesting.
  • Energy conscious buildings.
  • Provision of separate prison for High Security prisoners and First Time Offenders to ensure total segregation.

There is also a proposal to construct jails at Narela and Baprola area in Delhi to decongest the existing prisons. For Baprola jail the Prison Department has already made requisition to DDA for allotment of 40 acres land at Baprola. Still the matter is pending for issuance of Notification by the Principal Secretary (L&B), Land and Building Department, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi for acquisition of land at Baprola village. After receiving the details of the land the cost of land of Rs.17.80 crore approx. will be got deposited with DDA and thereafter the construction work will be got started after making the provision of Rs.200 cores approx. for construction in the 12th five year plan.

For construction of Narela jail a land of 1492 Bigha 08 Biswa 15 Biswansi stand acquired and the physical possession of 1246 Bigha, 01 Biswas & 15 Biswansi has been handed over to DDA. Part possession could not have been taken due to any land for which request for de-notification is pending for consideration before Land & Building Department. Still the matter is pending for issuance of necessary instruction/action regarding notification of remaining land with Land & Building Department.A proposal regarding creation of Jail Training Institute at Tihar Complex through DSIIDC is pending with Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.