Barbara Kaban, Esq.

YAD Administration Office

Barbara Kaban was the Director of Juvenile Appeals for YAD (2012 – 2015). As the first person to occupy this position, Kaban established a specialized appellate panel whose mission is to enforce and enhance the constitutional and statutory rights of Massachusetts’ juveniles. In addition, Kaban administered and litigated the implementation of the 2012 Miller v. Alabama Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts that held mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles violates the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. See Commonwealth v. Marquise Brown, 466 Mass 676 (2013).

Prior to joining CPCS, Kaban was the Deputy Director and Director of Research and Policy at the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts, (2000-2012). As part of her appellate practice, Kaban successfully advocated for the cessation of extension of commitments for youth committed to the Department of Youth Services (Kenniston v. Department of Youth Services, 453 Mass 179 (2009)(declaring the statute void for vagueness) and challenged the duration and circumstances under which an incompetent juvenile may be detained pre-trial. Abbott A. v. Commonwealth, 458 Mass. 24 (2010).

In 2011, the Governor appointed Kaban to the federally mandated state advisory group which is charged with coordinating juvenile justice and delinquency prevention efforts in the Commonwealth. In 2009, Kaban was appointed by the Governor to the Massachusetts’ Child Advocacy Advisory Board. A recipient of a 1998 Soros Justice Fellowship, Kaban graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston College Law School, has an M.B.A. from Boston University and a M.Ed. in educational psychology from Harvard University. Kaban’s recent publications include: “Revitalizing the Infancy Defense in the Contemporary Juvenile Court, Rutgers Law Review (Fall 2007); “Do You Know Where the Children Are? A Report on Massachusetts Youth Unlawfully Held Without Bail,” (2006); “Rethinking a Knowing, Intelligent and Voluntary Waiver in Massachusetts Juvenile Courts, “Journal of the Center for Children and the Courts, v.5 (2004); “When Police Question Children: Are Protections Adequate?”Journal of the Center for Children and the Courts, vol. 1, 151 (1999); reprinted Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, vol. IV, 12 (Summer 2000); reprinted Massachusetts Bar Association Section Review, vol. 4, 1 (Winter 2002); and “An Overview of Disposition Process in Delinquency Cases” in the 1999 Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education publication entitled Juvenile Law Basics. Further, she initiated and supervised the Juvenile Life Without Parole project at the CLCM that resulted in the 2009 publication “Until They Die A Natural Death: Youth Sentenced to Life Without Parole in Massachusetts.” Kaban regularly serves as a faculty member at Massachusetts continuing legal education seminars and has been recognized for outstanding public interest service by the Massachusetts Bar Association (2009) and by Boston College Law School (2013).