The article analyzes the psychological measures that support human existence in prison. The main source chosen is the novel “Notes from the House of the Dead” (1861–1862) by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881), a classic of Russian literature, which was written based on his personal experience as a political prisoner (1849–1859). The author, above the gloomy life in prison, the poor household and the dehumanization of convicts, raises the effort to remain human and the hidden features of personal goodness hidden in the prison system. The article discusses why prisoners feel differently being in the same environment. The provision of needs according to the hierarchy of human needs established by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow and the changed concept of freedom served as a psychological support for the convicts. Survival was aided by a different perception of time spent in prison as non-existent in human life and physical work as a way to be forgotten.