When it was started, Tihar Jail was a maximum security prison of the Punjab State governance. However, it changed hands to the authority of National Capital Territory of Delhi in 1966 and again from 1884 it became Tihar Prison duly equipped with added facilities.
Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, hanged for the assassination of Indira Gandhi. International serial killer Charles Sobraj escaped from Tihar on 16 March 1986, but was recaptured shortly thereafter.
Tihar Jail became the first jail in the country to have its very FM radio station when Director General of Prisons Vimla Mehra launched the 'TJ FM Radio' at Central Jail No 4 in the Tihar complex.
Tihar Jail at Delhi is also referred as Tihar Prisons and Tihar Ashram. The ashram suffix is quite appropriate for this large complex, because it is a correctional institution housing those who have been imprisoned here by law, but the perspective governing this institution is to make them good citizens acceptable by Society, by grooming them with the right and acceptable paths of living.
This complex trains ordinary inmates into skillful and educated employable citizens, equally getting them the attitude of respecting law and society to the required extent. Tihar Jail approaches the issues through various therapy based activities which includes training in music and performances.
The Jail inmates have their own industrial unit as well, for their labour going to productive outputs with the Brand Tihar and it gets revenue generation too. Tihar Jail houses about 12000 inmates as of November 2006, although the Prison is expected to hold a capacity of 5200.