Joe Giudice Checks Into Prison Kisses Teresa's Ass G'bye

3/23/2016 8:23 AM PDT

Joe Giudice Checks Into Prison ... Kisses Teresa's Ass G'bye

Breaking News

9:40 AM PT-- Joe's lawyer, James Leonard, tells TMZ Joe Giudice surrendered himself around noon. He was surrounded by his brother, sister, Teresa and several family members. "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."

Joe and Teresa Giudice said their last goodbyes -- in public -- before Joe headed to the slammer for the next 41 months ... and shared one final kiss on the way out.  

Joe got in a car headed to Fort Dix, a low security prison in New Jersey -- where he'll serve time for conspiracy to commit wire and bankruptcy fraud.

It's kinda like a passing of the baton -- Teresa already served 11 months for the same charges.