Joe Giudice Begins 41-Month Prison Sentence

Well, it's official. Bravo reality star of the Real Housewives of New Jersey Joe Giudice began his 41-month prison sentence Wednesday, March 23. The Giudices family lawyer, James Leonard Jr., released the following statement to E! News about Joe's farewell:

Joe Giudice surrendered himself to the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix today at 12 p.m. to begin serving his sentence. His brother, his sister and several other members of the Giudice family, as well as myself, were present when he turned himself in to the prison, including Teresa. It was obviously a very emotional day, but this is a very strong family with a tremendous support system and they will get through this, just as they did when Teresa was away.

In October 2014, both Teresa and Joe received their prison sentences for fraud, including bankruptcy fraud and failing to file income tax returns. The judge ruled that they would serve back-to-back sentences for the sake of their four daughters, Gia, Audriana, Milania, and Gabriella. In December 2015, Teresa was released from prison after serving almost 12 months.

Now, it's time for Teresa to stay home with their girls, while Joe serves his time. Like their attorney noted, it was an extremely emotional day for all of them, which is proven in the photos below of Teresa and Joe hugging and kissing one another goodbye.

Based on the set of photos shared by the Daily Mail, it looks like all of this was filmed, too. I assume it's for the upcoming season of RHONJ , which will also feature Teresa's homecoming. The Daily Mail also released photos of Melissa and Joe Gorga saying goodbye to Joe, which just goes to show that this family has a come long way since their former dramatic days on RHONJ.

While chatting with People before starting his sentence, Joe explained how he's looking at his time in prison as a sort of rehab. "I'm looking at it like rehabilitation for me," he said. "I am not going to be able to drink for a while, which is good because I don't even know when it's been since I haven't had a drink. It's been a long time. Definitely the whole year I definitely drank every day a couple bottles at night just to go to bed."

Overall, it appears Joe is staying positive about everything and is trying keep his head held high. "It's not a big deal," Giudice also told People. "They tell me that the low security and the camp there are almost the same so it's no big deal."