Readers of D&R quickly learn that Aislinn’s brother Eric is serving a life sentence in a fictitious prison referred to as The Fortress. In the series, capital punishment has been eliminated and as a result, inmate deaths increased right along with the increase in the serial killer population that was starting to fill the cells. To combat that, The Fortress exists, a prison specifically meant to hold serial killers and mass murderers.
Surprisingly, The Fortress exists for 2 very logical reasons. One executions are incredibly expensive and someone has to pay the outrageous salaries of the SCTU members who get hazard pay, pretty much all the time, because nobody on the planet wants their jobs considering the life expectancy is 3 years. A study in the 1990s discovered that it was more expensive to execute a prisoner than to have them serve a life sentence. Also, trials where the death penalty is an option, are also more expensive. So the money saved on executions goes towards the SCTU salaries.
The second reason is that the death penalty doesn’t deter crime. In the history of the world, no criminal has thought “maybe I shouldn’t do this, because I can be executed for it.” People who think like that, don’t commit crimes in the first place, they are more like you and me because no criminal commits a crime and ever thinks “oh, I might get caught.” If criminals thought that way, they wouldn’t commit crimes and we could just do away with the criminal justice system all together.
I know that sociopaths and psychopaths often fail to realize the consequences of their actions and since most serial killers have some sort of impairment (whether that be psychopathic tendencies or borderline personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder or a whole list of other personality and mood disorders). Sociopaths and psychopaths are known for their impulsivity and lack of self control. Even high functioning psychopaths and sociopaths tend to have low impulse control, low self control, and an inability to identify consequences of actions before hand.
Because of this, you can’t actually put anything into place to deter crime. The best you can hope for is that you remember to hug your child often and remind them they are loved, because that contact has been proven to prevent ASPD with sociopathic tendencies and/or psychopathic tendencies.
Also, it made Fortified Dreams a possibility by not executing serial killers and mass murderers. Hard for them to lead a revolt when they are being executed nearly as fast as they are being caught. Furthermore, death penalty trials last a lot longer, meaning the swift turnaround of serial killers in the justice system is faster in D&R because capital punishment isn’t an option.