KINGSTON, Ont. -- An inquest will be held into the death of an inmate at a former maximum security prison in Kingston, Ont.

Twenty-seven-year-old Andrew Townsend died on December 17, 2012 while in custody at Kingston Penitentiary, which closed the following year.

An inquest is mandatory under the Coroners Act.

Dr. Paul Dungey, the regional supervising coroner, says the inquest will examine the circumstances surrounding Townsend's death, and the jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths.

The inquest is set to begin March 3 in Napanee, Ont. and last two days.

Townsend was serving a seven-year, eight-month sentence for break and enter, breach of recognizance and arson related to an incident in 2008.