Cochran began her career in 1996 at NTC as a chief clerk and held various administrative positions until 2006 when she was promoted to a supervisory role as the prison's procedures and accreditation manager. In 2011 Cochran was promoted to unit administrator II. She has also served five years as the public information officer for NTC.
During her career, Cochran has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2004 and 2011 Achievement Award for Northpoint. She is a 2001 graduate of the Leadership and Education Development (LEAD) Program. Cochran is also an active member of the Kentucky Council of Crime and Delinquency (KCCD) and served as a Herrington Lake chapter president in 2002-2003.
Cochran graduated from St. Catherine College with an associate's degree and then received her bachelor's degree from Eastern Kentucky University.