Cabán was born in Richmond Hill, Queens, to Puerto Rican parents. Her parents were both raised in NYCHA's Woodside Houses in Queens; her father was an elevator mechanic and her mother is children's caretaker. She attended PS 62 and JHS 210 before attending St. Francis Preparatory School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University, where she majored in studies of crime, law, and justice. Subsequently, she earned a Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School.