There was a time when prison was dank and dark

Not now.

New prisons cost $650,000 per cell and have underfloor heating to keep their little tootsies warm.

How about a little hard labour to warm them up?

Since when did prisons have to be more expensive than an average house in Remuera?

What is wrong with converting old leaky shipping containers into cells?

I reckon that I could build a new prison for less than a $1 million. It wouldn't be flash , most of the cells would have some sort of leak or draft. There would be large piles of large rocks that required breaking, very high fences and nasty vivious hungry dogs patrolling the wire. Not comfortable I know, but the point is this, you definately wouldn't want to come back for more.

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