Sending controversial sheikhs into prisons to deliver speeches and "re-teach" Islam is the only way to address the risk of radicalisation behind bars, Australia's first terrorism detainee says.

Parramatta man Zaky Mallah, who was jailed in 2003 under anti-terrorism laws, said deradicalisation programs in prisons were "ineffective and a waste of money" and the only option was to call on former radical preachers to "correct the misconceptions".

"Salafi leaders started this 'call for jihad' in Australia in the mid-'90s and now we are stuck with the radicals that these imams have created," he said. "These leaders are the only hope we have right now."

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