McJustice and the McDonaldization of the Criminal Justice System
Criminological Paradigm – McDonaldization Theory:
An appropriate social science theory that can be used to understand the chain of custody process is the McDonaldization theory by sociologists George Ritzer (2017). McDonaldization is a contemporary sociological paradigm used to explain the rationalization of modern organizations. The theorist used McDonalds fast-food restaurants as the models of rationality in the 21st Century. These franchised operations embody formal rationality, because they are reliable, affordable, increasingly technological, and readily recognized a modern institution. The definition of the McDonaldization theory is the evidence of rational operations in modern organizational bureaucracies, based on the precepts of (i)efficiency, (ii) calculability and (iii) predictability. The McDonaldization theory envisions the modern rational organizations, as a highly efficient production chain, as illustrated by the food figure below.
Criminologist Robert Bohm (2006), develop the McJustice sub-theory from McDonaldization of society which is equally applicable to the efficient processes of the chain of custody operations. Both theories are built on the precepts of efficiency, calculability and predictability which is needed for the impeccable management of digital forensics evidence. Based on Bohm’s (2006) McJustice theory, of the three key precepts, calculability lends to the greater understanding of the chain of custody process. This is so as calculability focuses on the quantitative aspects of case processing. As with the chain of custody process, which requires all individuals handing the evidence and their location to be codified chronologically, calculability reinforces the handling of large quantity of data efficiently and in a timely manner. The integration of the cybersecurity processes in the chain of custody with the sociological theory, demonstrates how important an efficient bureaucracy is to modern digital forensics operations.