N.S. inmate who died after being found unconscious in cell was awaiting court

Nova Scotia's justice minister says a 29-year-old man who was found unresponsive in a jail cell and died later in hospital was waiting for a court appearance.

Mark Furey has yet to say what caused the inmate's death on Sept. 10, referring only to "tragic circumstances."

However, the minister confirmed the inmate had previously received medical attention at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility.

Prisoner advocacy groups, including the Elizabeth Fry Society, have said federal and provincial governments must take steps to increase the granting of bail, rather than imprisoning people awaiting court appearances and trial.

Furey says he's confident inmates are receiving the medical attention they require while on remand in the provincial jail.