The National Institute of Social Defence was set up originally as the Central Bureau of Correctional Services in 1961, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, in pursuance of the recommendations emerging at various National Forums. In 1964, the Bureau was transferred to the then Department of Social Security.
Since 1975, the Institute was a subordinate office under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The National Institute of Social Defence has become an Autonomous Body vide Government of India Notification No. 10-3/2000-SD. Vol. II, dated July 15, 2002, and is registered under the Societies Act XXI of 1860 with the Government of NCT, Delhi.