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Central Jail, Tihar was setup in 1958 on the land of Tihar Village. In the beginning, only one Central Jail was commissioned with the lodging capacity of 1273 prisoners. The prison population gradually grew and today as many as 11000 odd inmates are lodged here. Tihar Prisons is the largest prison complex in Asia. The prison complex has nine central jails apart from a District Jail at Rohini, which was commissioned in 2004.
Delhi Prisons is under the administrative control of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi headed by Shri Tejender Khanna, Lt. Governor, Government of Delhi. The Chief Minister of Delhi Smt. Shiela Dikshit is the minister in charge of Prison Department. The PrincipalSecretary (Home) Sh. G.S. Patnaik, IAS is the administrative secretary of the Prison Department. Sh. B.K. Gupta, IPS who is the Director General (Prisons) is presently the head of the Prison Department. Shri C.R. Garg, DANICS is the Deputy Inspector General of the Prisons. Each Jail is headed by a Superintendent of Prison who is from DANICS cadre. Shri Rajesh Goyal, DANICS is the Superintendent of Central Jail No.2 where the Jail Factory is also located.
Tihar Jail is a model jail . It is equipped with the most advanced security systems which includes CCTV camera surveillance, computerised Prisoner Management System(PMS), mobile jammers, X-Ray scanners, Hand Held Metal Detectors (HHMD), Door Framed Metal Detectors (DFMD), latest weaponry, Quick Reaction Teams and multi layer security system.
Tihar Jail provides more than the basic minimum facilities required for the inmates which includes provision of safe drinking water through R.O. system, cable TV, indoor outdoor games, canteen facility, high level of sanitation & hygiene, green environment, medical care facility, legal aid services, modern kitchens, provision of interviews with visitors & lawyers, clean lodging facility & telephone facility etc.
Delhi Prisons is considered a pioneer in the field of prison reforms, not only in India but all over the world. It provides various reformative & correctional opportunities to the inmates such as vocational training, educational programs through IGNOU & NIOS, computer courses, learning of traits at Jail Factory, Tihar Baking School, Yoga/Meditation/Spiritual courses, libraries, management of drug users (Opoid Substitution Treatment), Drug De-addiction Centre & HIV prevention & awareness programs etc.
A large number of NGOs are also involved in reformatory & correctional programmes in the jail in the field of yoga, meditation, education, vocational training, creche, Drug De-addiction, health counselling & rehabilitation, child education for inmate's children etc.
Delhi Prisons has been awarded various ISO certifications for its services like Model Ward of Central Jail No.1, CPRO at gate No. 3 & 4, Drug De-addiction Centre of Central Jail No.3, Jail Factory & Tihar Baking School of Central Jail No.2 and Women Jail (Central Jail No.6).