Mr. Gooch is not your granddaddy's jailer. He wants to institute all sorts of treatment programs - drugs, anger management and the like - and hire a full-time investigator in the jail who will ferret out information and share it with regular police.
"The jail is chock-full of people who have either been convicted of a crime or charged with one, and they're a wealth of information that's not being mined," he said.
But if Mr. Gooch's ideas are to be used, the county must embark on what would be the largest project in its history - construction of a modern regional jail. That decision is up to the fiscal court appointed jail committee, which has met irregularly since late last year and seems to be little further along in the decision-making process, although it has hired a couple of architectural firms to conduct site studies and make recommendations on where and how big to build a jail.
Unless the county's jail committee can produce a plan of action that will relieve jail overcrowding and correct safety violations that quarterly inspections regularly reveal, it'll have to close its jail and pay another county to house its prisoners.
"I don't want to be jailer of a closed jail," said Mr. Gooch, who expressed concern that the new administration may not be as patient as its predecessor.
Mr. Gooch will discuss the jail project's state of affairs at noon Monday at Stanford Rotary, which meets at the Kentucky Depot Restaurant in Stanford.
Part of his message is likely to be the effect drug abuse has on the county.
"People are being killed or maimed in DUI accidents, overdosing, committing all kinds of crimes, and engaging in dishonorable conduct because of drugs and alcohol," he says. "We're losing the war on drugs."
He may also be losing his appeal for a new jail. As one member of the jail committee put it, "It ain't gonna happen."