The 2017 Essay Topic

To participate in the contest, applicants should write a 600-word essay answering the following question:

Reasonable force by law enforcement officers is required and permitted under specific circumstances. However, excessive force by a law enforcement officer is a violation of a person’s constitutional rights. What policy solutions could be implemented to decrease the amount of wrongful deaths and injuries caused by police officers using excessive force? 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be planning to enroll in an accredited United States college or University in the Spring 2018 semester.

How to Apply

People who wish to participate should send their essay as an attachment (.doc or .docx) in an email to by December 31, 2017 9 AM PST. In the body of the email, applicants should include the following information:

  • Your name and phone number
  • If you are under 18, contact information for your parents
  • The name of the school you are attending or planning on attending
  • Your current course of study
  • The best way to contact you

Once the application period has ended, our scholarship committee will review the essays and choose a winner by January 15, 2018. The winner will be chosen considering the following factors:

  • Originality
  • Responsiveness to the question asked
  • The quality of the writing
  • The substantive content of the response
  • Proper citations

Please note that the winner’s check will be issued directly the the winner’s college or university.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of serious injury and/or death at the hands of police or in jail or prison, tell us about your case.