Home detention does not work as a deterrent in Hawkes Bay, said Judge Tony Adeane while sentencing a 22-year-old shoplifter in Hastings.

"It has not been the experience of the District Court in Hawkes Bay that home detention truly is an equivalent of prison - it doesn't have the same deterrent effect and most offenders realise that," he said.

He told Hastings mother Leah Rau-Kohe Hawkins, a repeat offender, she had narrowly escaped jail for her part in a shoplifting gang.

She got four months' home detention instead.