Dedicated Real Housewives fans celebrated Christmas a little bit early this holiday season when Teresa Giudice was released from prison on Dec, 23, 2015. She was locked up for almost a year, and while that is definitely a long time to be away from friends and family, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star was actually supposed to be in prison longer than she was. Teresa was released two months early and will serve the rest of her sentence in home confinement until February. Even though she's out now, the tough times are far from over for the Giudice family with Teresa's husband, Joe Giudice, set to start his prison sentence in March 2016. He has a way longer sentence ahead of him than his wife did (he's set to serve 41 months), so it's worth asking if Joe Giudice will be released early, too.
Sadly, the Giudice family and Real Housewives fans are going to have to wait around for an answer, because there is no official word from Joe's lawyer yet. That said, there is past precedent that we can reference to get an idea of what is likely to happen.
We know that Teresa got an early release, but why did that happen? Before you get all judgmental and make assumptions, it had nothing to do with her being a famous reality TV star. In fact, it was actually a pretty standard thing. As Teresa's attorney explained to Us Weekly, "You do 85 percent of your term. So 85 percent for her is 12 and 3/4 months. Then, you are eligible on that date for halfway house or home confinement for other 6 months or 10 percent of her sentence... She's aware of that." So maybe Joe will end up with a similar fate?
Why does early release happen? One common reason is parole. Simply put, parole is the early release from prison before an entire sentence is served where prisoners earn "good time" credits for good behavior. The credits count toward the possibility of receiving an early release and hearings with the parole board. So, it possible that Joe will be eligible for parole and get back to his family before the end of his 41-month sentence.
We did not find out about Teresa's reduced sentence until she was already behind bars, so I have a feeling that we will not hear about any time reduction for Joe until he is already away. For now, let's just let the Giudices live in peace and enjoy their family time before Joe serves his sentence.