Three generations of local men share the common - and somewhat unique - bond of being a Lycoming County corrections officer.
Terry, Louis and Kyle Cochran share about 44 combined years of county corrections experience among them.
Conversely, the trio also has seen generations of the same family behind the very bars they guarded.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
Members of the Cochran family — Terry, left; grandson Kyle, center; and his father Louis — pose for a photo at Louis’ Williamsport home on a May afternoon. The three Cochrans represent three generations of corrections officers to work at the Lycoming County Prison, with Terry having started at the old prison on William and West Third streets.
Lycoming County Prison Warden Kevin DeParlos said the Cochrans' "family business" is a rare occurrence.
"I've been around myself for about 30 years with the county," he said. "I think it's awful unique and unprecedented. I don't know any third-generation family in the same department."
For Terry, 61, who retired two years ago after 28 years of service from the Lycoming County Prison, times have changed since his grandson, Kyle, 21, started in April.
Terry worked at both the old prison at William and West Third streets built in the 1860s, and the new prison that opened in 1986 along West Third and Hepburn streets.
"The old prison was like a dungeon, more or less," he said. "At the old jail, if we had a problem all we had was a whistle."
Terry said corrections officers wore their personal clothes on the job back then. And it wasn't that unusual to find someone trying to escape from the old jail.
"I caught a few guys trying to dig out," Terry said, noting how cement in the structure turned into sand, making breakout attempts easier.
Terry said he never really pushed his son Louis, 46, into corrections for a living.
"I shared a lot of things with him," he said.
Both father and son were employed as steelworkers before they joined the ranks of corrections officers.
Louis, who works at the county Pre-Release Center in Loyalsock Township, had previous stints working at the Clinton County Correctional Facility before coming on board in Lycoming County.
He said the key for him is to "never take work home, and never take home into work."
Louis and his father used to work shifts together at the present prison, but he said he enjoys his job at the Pre-Release Center.
"You meet a bunch of different guys, from drunks to murderers," he said.
But something both Terry and Louis know is that corrections is a people business.
"Treat them the way you want to be treated," Louis said.
Like his father, Kyle said he just kind of found his way into a career in corrections.
"I got tips from both these guys," he said. "I went in knowing the basics of things."
The Cochrans agree that, while challenging, working in a prison is a good job.
"You don't have to worry about a layoff," Louis said. "There's always going to be guys in jail."